World War III Has Started, Says Russian TV as Ukraine Called a 'Rehearsal'

Russia's state TV host and guests have said that World War III has started and noted Ukraine could be just the beginning of a potentially larger conflict with the West.

The Daily Beast's Julia Davis shared a video Wednesday of a political scientist, commentators, politicians and the Russian state TV host speaking about the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting of the leaders of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member states at the Kremlin in Moscow on May 16, 2022. World War 3 has started, says Russian TV as the conflict in Ukraine is called a "rehearsal." Alexander Nemenov/Getty Images

"Russian propagandists and government officials look beyond Ukraine and threaten the collective West on Kremlin-controlled state television: 'WWIII had started.' 'Expect us,'" she wrote on Twitter as she shared the video.

While the guests and the host make these claims in the clip, an English translation can be seen running along the bottom of the video.

Newsweek was able to independently verify that the words accompanying the video match what is being said. However, Newsweek could not yet establish when exactly the video was recorded.

"Russia's special operation in Ukraine has ended in a sense that a real war had started: WWIII," host Olga Skabeeva said.

"We're forced to conduct the demilitarization not only of Ukraine, but of the entire NATO alliance."

Political scientist Vladimir Avatkov also issued a warning to the U.S. and Poland for their support of Ukraine in the conflict.

He highlighted that Russian President Vladimir Putin said that anyone who interferes in the "special military operation" in Ukraine will pay a heavy price.

The TV host added that there were a number of countries that this applied to, not just the U.S. and Poland.

"But a great number of people are lining up trying to interfere in Russia's special operation on the territory of Ukraine," Skabeeva said.

"Turns out, we have to act but we're yet to figure out how we can act without conducting a nuclear strike."

Associate professor of world politics at Moscow State University Alexei Fenenko added that a larger conflict with the West was possible in future.

"For us, the war in Ukraine is a rehearsal," he said.

"Rehearsal for a possible bigger conflict in the future. We'll test and compare NATO weapons to our own.

"We'll find out on the battlefield, how much stronger our weapons are than theirs.

"This may be a learning experience for our future conflict, it's a scary experiment."

Newsweek has contacted Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry and NATO for comment.

Despite these claims, Russia's military operation in Ukraine has not gone as planned, according to analysts.

As Putin's war in Ukraine closes in on the 100-day mark, several analysts said his forces have yet to secure a decisive advantage despite the fact that he's pouring billions of dollars into the campaign.

Russia's "original plan was that it would be a war of annihilation, in which a 48-72-hour campaign would crush Ukraine's government, its leaders arrested or killed, and a new government installed to do Russia's bidding," Northwestern University political science professor William Reno told Newsweek.

"Instead, the Ukrainians fought back, and now we're helping to keep them in the fight," he said. "Russia's army isn't turning out to be so great."

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