Russian State TV Threatens Nuclear Attack On Europe

A primetime TV show on Russian state television appeared to shows panelists discussing a possible nuclear strike on Europe, and establishing a military presence in the corridor to Kaliningrad, the isolated Russian city sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

"To Europe, to Europe, there is a simple thing we need to tell Europe," said a panelist, translated from Russian on the television show, in a Twitter post shared by Maria Avdeeva, founder of the European Expert Association, a think tank focused on security challenges in Ukraine.

"You will get a nuclear strike if you gather some kind of a peacekeeping contingent by NATO or decide to relocate it somewhere, and so on and so on. This is going to be a nuclear war!" the man added.

"Brave Poles, there will be nothing left from your Warsaw in 30 seconds. Brave Germans, so to say. Brave Estonians, brave Baltics. By the way, concerning the brave Baltics, I know there are serious problems in Kaliningrad at the border. Maybe it is relevant to establish a corridor in Kaliningrad?"

Another panelist said: "Well, if we can establish one to Transnistria..," before being interrupted by the original speaker.

"It seems to me that countries as we call them "Litvenia" [Lithuania] and "Poland" behave too boldly. Too boldly!" the panelist said.

"And if they don't realize yet that we can, in fact, handle them way faster than we can take care of what we started in Ukraine. Because the issue with the corridor is a matter of a local military operation and it is way easier to do than what we have started doing in Ukraine," he warned.

Newsweek has contacted Avdeeva for more information about the video, and has asked the Russian foreign ministry to comment on the footage.

The Kremlin has tried to muddy Russians' understanding of the war with a wide-ranging social media and independent news crackdown, including the banning of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

On March 4, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law that criminalizes reporting that contradicts the Kremlin's view of the conflict.

The law can punish anyone spreading that information with up to 15 years in prison. Many international and independent media are no longer operating in Russia, amid fears of prosecution, leaving mainly pro-Putin state media.

Since Russia invaded its neighbour on February 24, the country has been met with an unprecedented wave of international sanctions that have crippled its economy and caused the ruble to plummet.

Many officials fear that Putin's ambitions may not stop at Ukraine and that he may attack a NATO member such as Poland, a move that is widely expected to cause a third world war.

Russian state TV threatening nuclear war
A screen grab from Russian state television threatening a nuclear war in Europe. Channel 1 screen grab