Upping the ante as his military continues to wage war in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday pledged to launch “lightning” fast strikes against any country that “interferes” with his aggressive designs on the neighboring land, as Fox News reports.
In what was seen as a very thinly-veiled threat to the West, Putin declared, “If anyone ventures to intervene from the outside and [pose] unacceptable threats of a strategic nature to Russia, they should know that our counter-retaliatory strikes will take place with lightning speed.”
Though leaders in the United States and the United Kingdom have urged Russia to cease the use of rhetoric designed to stoke fears of nuclear war, Putin was not to be deterred, stating, “We have all the tools to do this. The kind that no one else can boast of right now,” an apparent allusion to his country’s recent test-launch of a missile known as the Sarmat ICBM.
“And we will not boast; we will use them if necessary,” Putin added. “I want everyone to know that. All the decisions have been made in this regard.”
Putin received an assist of sorts in his campaign of intimidation toward the West, with commentators on state television also speaking this week in blunt terms about the destruction that could be unleashed.
“One Sarmat means minus one Great Britain,” said broadcast host Vladimir Solovyov, in an especially chilling exchange.
As the Daily Mail noted, high-profile Kremlin mouthpiece Margarita Simonyan, was similarly frank about Putin’s unwillingness to accept defeat in his conquest of Ukraine, saying that the Russian leader is far more likely to initiate nuclear war than to surrender in the war.
“Either we lose in Ukraine, or the Third World War starts. I think World War Three is more realistic, knowing us, knowing our leader,” Simonyan stated. “The most incredible outcome, that all this will end with a nuclear strike, seems more probable to me than the other course of events.”
Underscoring the macabre nature of the prevailing propaganda in Russia at present, Simonyan continued, “[i]t is what it is. We will go to heaven, while they will simply croak… We’re all going to die someday.”