Russian State TV Tells Putin to Finalize Plans for Nuclear Strike on NATO

A Russian state TV commentator on Thursday called on President Vladimir Putin to form a plan for a nuclear attack against NATO.

In a video posted to Twitter by Francis Scarr of BBC News, Igor Korotchenko spoke about the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine on Moscow's state-run TV Channel 1.

"We may encounter direct nuclear blackmail against Russia because American tactical nuclear weapons are now located at a number of NATO air bases and the formats of their use in combat envision the transfer to NATO countries with air power of free-falling American modernized nuclear bombs for hitting Russian territory," Korotchenko said in the translated version of the video.

"Well, evidently the time has come for us perhaps, I've already said this, to hold drills for practicing scenarios in which Russian tactical nuclear weapons are used. It's just that when we encounter NATO's nuclear blackmail, we shouldn't be running around thinking about how to respond.

"I propose that a nuclear planning ground be set up under the Security Council in order to...determine our aims and objectives, including of the eventuality of us having to react in this way...which of NATO's critical infrastructure facilities, which units and headquarters may be targets for a strike since we will soon be issued with a direct nuclear ultimatum by the NATO alliance," Korotchenko added.

The remarks by Korotchenko come as Ukrainian armed forces continue to push back and attempt to retake control of territory under Russian control. In a defense update on Thursday, the U.K. Ministry of Defense said, "Ukrainian forces continue to consolidate their control of newly liberated areas of Kharkiv Oblast. Russian forces have largely withdrawn from the area west of the Oskil River."

Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) leaders' summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on September 15, 2022. On the same day, a Russian state TV commentator called on Putin to create a plan for a nuclear attack against NATO. ALEXANDR DEMYANCHUK/SPUTNIK/AFP/Getty Images

The update also said that Russian troops have "varied" in their retreat from different areas, as some have gone "in relatively good order," while others have "fled in apparent panic."

In addition to the comments made by Korotchenko, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova this week criticized the U.S. for continuing to send weapons to Ukraine, saying that the U.S. and its allies have "become accomplices in [Ukraine's] war crimes."

"If Washington decides to supply Kyiv with longer-range missiles, it will cross the red line and become a direct party to the conflict. We reserve the right to defend our territory," Zakharova said. "In such a scenario, we will be forced to respond adequately, in my opinion, this is obvious. Such an irresponsible step will be extremely destabilizing, contribute to an additional increase in tension and provoke an arms race."

Newsweek reached out to the Russian Foreign Ministry and NATO press office for comment.