Russian lawmaker urges Vladimir Putin to use nuclear weapons because 'no one will step in to defend Ukraine'
A panel of Russian President Vladimir Putin's propaganda puppets on state television erupted into a disagreement this week over what the consequences would be if Putin uses one or more nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
Putin placed his nuclear arsenal on high alert on February 27th, but to date, there is no evidence that a nuclear launch is imminent.
Aleksey Zhuravlyov, a member of the Duma and chairman of the Rodina political party, has been a boisterous proponent of deploying Moscow's new Sarmat Intercontinental Ballistic Missile in a preemptive strike against North Atlantic Treaty Organization nations. The Sarmat or Satan II is a hypersonic ICBM capable of carrying 10 to 15 multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs), each of which contains a nuclear warhead, as far as 11,000 miles at speeds in excess of 15,000 miles per hour.
During Thursday's discussion, Zhuravlyov asserted that neither NATO nor the United States would respond in kind to a tactical nuclear attack on Ukraine.
Keep in mind that all of this talk about nuking Ukraine, the US, and its NATO allies is a direct result of how badly Putin's illegal, unprovoked invasion of Ukraine is going for the Russian military.
"We demonstrated the Sarmat. There was a reason we showed it to the whole world because all decisions have been made and we're ready," Zhuravlyov bellowed.
The Sarmat ICBM is not engineered for local tactical nuclear assaults. Those bombs have short ranges and lower yields and are intended primarily for battlefield use.
"A tactical nuclear strike is very possible," Zhuravlyov continued. "I don't even doubt it. A tactical nuclear strike..."
Host Evgeny Popov interrupted.
"That is the very last argument," he said. But Zhuravlyov's ballistic bluster was undeterred.
"And no one will step in to defend Ukraine, no matter what kind of weapons are used there. They're afraid of tactical nuclear weapons," he said of NATO.
Regardless, Popov checked Zhuravlyov again, stressing the dangers of unleashing thermonuclear hell.
"I'm certain that our Armed Forces are capable of achieving all the goals set before them without using such things capable of destroying the entire planet. God willing. No need for that," he said, adding that "it's alright that you're scaring foreigners, but you're scaring our people, citizens of Russia."
But Zhuravlyov disagreed and pressed forward anyway.
"We're not scaring our people," he insisted, because, "we have systems that can intercept hypersonics."
Popov then reminded Zhuravlyov that Russia's "oil depot and military units in Belgorod are being hit every day," meaning that Russia's defenses are "not intercepting everything."
Watch below via Julia Davis, the resident expert Russia analyst at The Daily Beast and founder of the Russian Media Monitor:
Meanwhile on Russian state TV: lawmaker Aleksey Zhuravlyov is arguing that Russia might use tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine and get away with it.pic.twitter.com/jBb7EWy7GQ— Julia Davis (@Julia Davis) 1651759002
Thursday's back and forth was not the first time that the Kremlin's spokespeople have sparred in recent days over Putin's potential snapping of the global atomic taboo. Last Friday, Popov broke ranks with his on-air colleagues' excitement over the destructive power of the Sarmat.
When "you propose the strike with the Sarmat, no one will survive in this war. Do you understand that no one will survive? No one on the planet," Popov said in response to Zhuravlyov, who advocated for obliterating Great Britain and other NATO states with the Sarmat.
- Kremlin propagandists squabble over whether global nuclear ... ›
- Russia's latest ICBM test prompts new questions about Vladimir ... ›
- 'Yes, he would': Fiona Hill discusses Vladimir Putin using nuclear ... ›