A Russian politician has made a new nuclear threat on a Kremlin-backed TV program in which he angrily denounced NATO‘s supply of weapons to Kyiv.
Aleksey Zhuravlyov, leader of the nationalist party Rodina (Motherland) that is part of Russia’s managed opposition, has repeatedly raised the specter of his country’s nuclear capabilities during his appearances on the Russia-1 program, 60 Minutes.
On Thursday, the Duma deputy took aim at German Chancellor Olaf Scholz who had told the World Economic Forum in Davos that Vladimir Putin “must not win this war” in Ukraine and that he was “convinced that he will not win it.”
During what was effectively a monologue that lasted several minutes, Zhuravlyov said, “It’s madness. Is this moron really thinking we could lose. Us, a nuclear nation?
“That tomorrow, we’ll say, ‘sorry, we made a mistake, that we will get out of Crimea and everywhere else.’ It can’t happen.
“In the end, you will be reduced to ashes. The Americans will say ‘stuff happens,'” suggesting that Washington would not come to Europe’s aid if Moscow used nuclear weapons.
Taking issue with Scholz’s assessment that the West could not accept the terms Moscow laid out in peace talks, Zhuravlyov said: “If you can’t accept our terms then we’ll force you. Scholz should know that. If you force us to use nuclear weapons we’ll have no other choice.”
Zhuravlyov also voiced concerns that Russia might struggle to pay for the war in Ukraine.
“Our economy is still not mobilized for war,” he said. “Since this is not a war, the envelopes are not open,” he added, referring to Moscow’s official description of the conflict as a “special military operation.”
“Do you think we can keep making Iskanders?” he said describing the short-range ballistic missile system Russian forces have deployed in Ukraine. “Will we have enough? Of course we won’t when NATO’s newest weapons start to arrive.”
A video of Zhuravlyov speaking was shared by journalist and Russian media watcher Julia Davis, who tweeted, “Behind all of these nuclear threats and claims that America wouldn’t help Europe if Russia decides to nuke it, there’s underlying panic about Russia being economically unprepared to keep waging this war. “
He also suggested Moscow’s latest missile, the nuclear capable Sarmat, should target the U.K. because of its support for Ukraine’s war effort.