Russian TV Says Poland Next Target for Invasion

NATO member Poland could be the next target of a Russian invasion as the war in Ukraine drags on, according to pro-Kremlin Russian TV channel Russia-1.

Presenter Olga Skabeeva, host of the "60 Minutes" talk show and one of Russia's most prominent state propagandists, was quoted by Daily Beast journalist Julia Davis as saying that Russia should smash Western countries after Ukraine, starting with its neighbor Poland.

"I have some unpleasant news... Even though we are methodically destroying the weapons that are being delivered [to Ukraine], the quantities in which the United States are sending them force us to come up with some global conclusions," Skabeeva said on state-owned Russia-1.

"Perhaps it's time to acknowledge that maybe Russia's special operation in Ukraine has come to an end, in a sense that a real war had started: World War III. We're forced to conduct the demilitarization not only of Ukraine, but of the entire NATO alliance."

Under NATO's Article 5, an attack on one ally is deemed an attack on all and so a Russian invasion of NATO member Poland would likely provoke a conflict with the entire U.S.-led 30-nation alliance.

"You mentioned WW III and the way Americans and Poles are acting on the territory of Ukraine—indeed, we need to remember the words of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, who said that anyone who tries to interfere in the special military operation will pay a heavy price," another guest, Vladimir Avatkov, a member of the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, intervened.

Skabeeva interrupted: "We never forget about these words of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, but a great number of people are already standing in line, trying to interfere in Russia's special operation on the territory of Ukraine. Turns out, we have to act—but we're yet to figure out how we can act without conducting a nuclear strike."

Russian legislator Oleg Matveychev, a guest on the show, responded to Skabeeva by saying that "if Poland starts any intervention... its current borders will be worthless."

It wasn't made clear when the TV show was broadcast.

Poland has sent weapons to Ukraine, including 18 AHS Krab self-propelled howitzers, as reported by Polish public radio on May 29.

Skabeeva specified that she did not want to limit Russian intervention to Poland alone. "I wasn't talking just about Poland, but mainly about Great Britain and the United States... they're all lined up," she said.

Avatkov said there was "no need to rush."

"There is a line. Everything in its time!," he said.

Similar statements have been made before on Russia-1 by other guests, including member of the State Duma, the lower house of Russia's parliament, Andrey Kartapolov, who said the war in Ukraine was just "the first act, an introduction" to a bigger conflict to come in the future.

Although these threats are common on Russian television, they are generally seen mainly as a way to rally the Russian population at home and build consensus around the war. But this aggressive stance from journalists close to the Russian government would suggest the Kremlin itself is behind this belligerent rhetoric.

Russia Poland War Ukraine
In this photo, a Polish Leopard tank is seen as troops from Poland, USA, France and Sweden take part in the DEFENDER-Europe 22 military exercise, in Nowogrod, Poland on May 19, 2022. Russian TV host Olga Skabeeva threatened a Russian war against the West, starting with Poland. WOJTEK RADWANSKI/AFP via Getty Images