Russian state TV hosts discussed the possibility of a war that expands outside of Ukraine on Tuesday, and Margarita Simonyan, journalist and head of RT, told viewers that a nuclear war would be OK because “we’re all going to die someday.”
Russian television has consistently discussed the idea of war spreading beyond just Ukraine, promoting the idea of an “inevitable” war against “Europe and the world.” Major Russian channels have been known for vitriolic rhetoric being broadcast to justify Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
On Tuesday night’s show, The Evening With Vladimir Solovyov, host Vladimir Solovyov, accompanied by Simonyan, said that in order to stop other countries from intervening in Russia’s war with Ukraine, a nuclear war would have to be a possibility.
“Personally, I think that the most realistic way is the way of World War III, based on knowing us and our leader, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin,” Simonyan said according to The Daily Beast, “knowing how everything works around here, it’s impossible — there is no chance — that we will give up.”
Simonyan continued, saying, “Everything will end with a nuclear strike is more probable than the other outcome. This is to my horror, on one hand, but on the other hand, with the understanding that it is what it is.”
Vladimir Solovyov added, “But we will go to heaven, while they will simply croak.”
“We’re all going to die someday,” Simonyan said to the audience.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and other Kremlin officials have continuously made threatening statements to NATO. In a speech on Wednesday, Putin said that any countries that attempt to intervene and create “unacceptable threats for us that are strategic in nature” would be met with a “lightning-fast” response, Agence France-Presse reported.
Solovyov also discussed Western artillery deliveries being made to Ukraine on the talk show on Tuesday, and questioned, “What is preventing us from striking the territory of the United Kingdom, targeting those logistical centers where these arms are being loaded?”
Another guest on the show, Andrey Sidorov, deputy dean of world politics at Moscow State University, replied, “If we decide to strike the U.K., we should rather decide to strike the United States… Final decisions are being made not in London, but in Washington. If we want to hit the real center of the West, then we need to strike Washington.”
Fiona Hill, the former senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council, appeared Tuesday on a Times Radio podcast, saying that Putin using nuclear weapons in Ukraine is a viable possibility.
“Of course he [Putin] would. And the thing is, he’s already rhetorically done it, right?” Hill said. “He’s put us in a position that we’ve never been before with the Soviet Union and Russia, even going back to the Cold War when we knew that part of the military doctrine was to use military weapons and biological and chemical weapons, as well, in extreme circumstances in the context of an existential threat to the Soviet Union, which there isn’t right now to Russia.”
Newsweek reached out to the Russian Foreign Ministry for comment.