Wed, 21 September 2022, 10:57 amFormer advisor to Vladimir Putin says West will be to blame for nuclear war in BBC rant
Sergey Markov made a host of unsubstantiated claims – including that Western countries are using Ukrainian soldiers “as slaves” – before shouting down the phone line during his interview.
He threatened the West with nuclear war before he was asked any questions on BBC’s Today programme on Wednesday morning.
“Good morning to you,” the presenter said, to which the ex-Putin advisor replied: “Good morning. Well it’s not good morning … for everybody.”
He continued: “For Western countries, for you, British listeners, I would say that Vladimir Putin told us he would be ready to use nuclear weapons against Western countries, including nuclear weapons against Great Britain.
Mr Markov said “your cities will be target..” before being interrupted.
Mr Putin warned he would be prepared to use weapons of mass destruction to “protect” his country in an address to the nation on Wednesday.
“When the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, to protect Russia and our people, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal,” Russia’s president said.
Mr Markov was asked if he believed the Russian leader had made a clear threat not just to use tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine but also to start a general nuclear war that would kill everyone.
He replied “not everyone” but added it “could kill a lot of people in the Western countries”.
The former Putin advisor said: “I would say that everybody in the world … is thinking about nuclear war. This nuclear war could be result of the crazy behaviour of the president of the United States, Joe Biden, and prime ministers of Great Britain, Boris Johnson and Liz Truss.”
He claimed Russia “doesn’t want everybody in the world to die” in a nuclear war but that it wanted to resolve the war in Ukraine, that he claimed was being fought by Western countries “using Ukrainian soldiers as their slaves”.
After claiming Russia wanted peace, Mr Markov was challenged by the BBC presenter who said: “You haven’t been talking much about peace, have you? You’ve just threatened us all with complete destruction, nuclear missiles coming to London, you said, and now you talk about peace.”
Mr Markov replied: “If Great Britain continues to be aggressor against Russia, if the prime minister of Great Britain, Liz Truss, still has a plan to destroy Russia, people in London should understand this threat comes from Liz Truss who is aggressor.”
He concluded the interview shouting at the presenter, claiming Russia did not invade Ukraine and blaming the West for the war.
A foreign office minister, who was the next guest on the Todayprogramme, was asked what she made of the interview.
“More of Putin’s lies. A complete rewriting of history. A bit of sabre rattling,” Gillian Keegan said. “And talk of nuclear war is very unhelpful and we would urge calm.”
She added: “It is a serious threat but it is one that has been made before.”
Mr Markov has previously made baseless claims about the war in Ukraine to UK media, telling Sky News Volodymyr Zelensky was a “puppet” of the US and Russia invaded Ukraine to liberate it from “neo-Nazis”.
He also said Talk TV presenter Jeremy Kyle was “probably disinformed” when asked about Mr Putin being responsible for deaths in Ukraine.
Ukraine war latest: Biden’s UN speech being rewritten last minute to address Putin nuclear threat.
President Joe Biden’s speech to the UN general assembly is reportedly being hastily rewritten in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of a partial mobilisation and nuclear threats aimed at the West.
The upcoming address was getting last minute re-writes after Mr Putin’s “ominous” speech, White House aides told Politico.
Flights out of Russia sold out on many routes soon after the announcement that 300,000 reservists would be drafted into Russian the military, amid fears men of fighting age would be barred from leaving the country.
Mr Putin earlier said he was “not bluffing” on nuclear weapons and warned Russia would use all the means at its disposal to protect territory it plans to annex in Ukraine through sham referendums.
Follow the latest updates below.
White House aides ‘rewriting Joe Biden’s speech’ to UN
Politico is quoting White House aides as saying that President Joe Biden’s upcoming UN speech is getting last-minute rewrites in the wake of President Vladimir Putin’s “ominous” overnight announcements, writes Josie Ensor, our correspondent in New York.
Mr Biden is expected to address the United Nations General Assembly in the coming hour. He had been due to speak on Tuesday, but was delayed by his visit to the UK to pay his respects to the late Queen.
President Biden is sure to praise the existing substantial international support for Ukraine. But it is worth watching how far he will go to urge more support for Ukraine from many of the world’s countries that have remained effectively neutral.
Likelihood of peace talks with Putin fading, says Zelensky
Volodymyr Zelensky has said he thinks the chances of peace talks with Vladimir Putin were shrinking, adding that it could only happen if Russian forces withdrew from Ukrainian territory.
Speaking to Germany’s Bild TV, Mr Zelensky said Ukraine had no influence on when Mr Putin’s rule in Russia would end but wanted to speak to Moscow from a position of strength.
Mr Zelensky also repeated calls for Germany to supply weapons and air defence systems to Ukraine, saying they were needed to save lives.
Nato chief slams Putin’s ‘reckless nuclear rhetoric’
Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg accused President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday of “dangerous” rhetoric after Russia’s leader suggested Moscow could use nuclear weapons over the war in Ukraine.
“This is dangerous and reckless nuclear rhetoric. It’s not new as he has done it many times before. He knows very well that a nuclear war should never be fought and cannot be won, and it will have unprecedented consequences for Russia,” Mr Stoltenberg said on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.
US official blasts Putin’s ‘irresponsible’ nuclear threats
The United States is taking Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “irresponsible” threat to use nuclear weapons “seriously,” a senior US official said Wednesday.
“It’s irresponsible rhetoric for nuclear power to talk that way. But it’s not atypical for how he’s been talking the last seven months and we take it very seriously,” John Kirby, spokesman for the White House’s National Security Council, told broadcaster ABC.
“We’re monitoring as best we can – their strategic posture. So if we have to, we can alter ours. We’ve seen no indication that that’s required right now.”
Zelensky: World won’t let Putin use nuclear weapons
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy does not believe the world would allow Russian President Vladimir Putin to use nuclear weapons.
Speaking in an interview with Germany’s BILD TV, Mr Zelensky warned against being cowed by Mr Putin’s threats, saying they would invite Russia to attempt to take more territory.
“I don’t believe that he will use these weapons. I don’t think the world will allow him to use these weapons,” Mr Zelensky said.
Germany’s Scholz calls Putin’s announcements ‘act of desperation’
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has condemned President Vladimir Putin’s order for a partial military mobilisation to support Russia’s war in Ukraine and hold annexation referendums as an “act of desperation”.
Speaking on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Scholz insisted Russia “cannot win this criminal war” in Ukraine and that Putin “with his most recent decision makes everything much worse”.
Latvia says it won’t offer refuge to Russians fleeing mobilisation
European Union member Latvia, which borders Russia, will not offer refuge to any Russians fleeing Moscow’s mobilisation of troops, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said on Wednesday, citing security concerns.
Along with Lithuania, Estonia and Poland, Latvia has banned most Russians from entering its territory.
“Russia is as dangerous to Europe and the world’s peace today as Nazi Germany was in the last century,” he said on Twitter.
EU leaders call for calm after Putin’s nuclear rhetoric
President Vladimir Putin’s latest steps in Russia’s war against Ukraine show his panic and the European Union will continue supporting Kyiv, three of the bloc’s leaders said on Wednesday.
The Belgian and Dutch prime ministers and the chairman of all the EU’s 27 national leaders spoke after Putin mobilised more troops for Ukraine and issued a nuclear threat to the West.
“It is all a sign of panic. His rhetoric on nuclear weapons is something we have heard many times before, and it leaves us cold,” said Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. “It is all part of the rhetoric we know. I would advise to remain calm.”
His Belgian peer, Alexander de Croo, also urged a calm response between not provoking Russia, saying: “We must not add fuel to the fire.”
European Council President Charles Michel, said the bloc would not be scared away from supporting Ukraine.
“In this war, there is only one aggressor, Russia, and one aggressed country, Ukraine. EU’s support to Ukraine will remain steadfast,” he said.
German police storm estate of Russian oligarch Usmanov
German police raided the lakeside villa of Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov in the southern state of Bavaria this morning, along with several other properties, as part of investigations into suspected sanctions violations and money-laundering
Police searched 24 properties across four states, with 250 officers involved in the operation, Munich’s public prosecutor said.
German broadcasters BR and MDR reported that one of the locations targeted was Mr Usmanov’s villa on Tegernsee lake in the southern state.
Mr Usmanov, 69, who has a net worth of $14.6 billion, was added to the Western sanctions list in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Russia says Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant water pipe damaged by shelling
Russia’s defence ministry on Wednesday said a large-calibre shell had damaged a water pipe at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine.
The Zaporizhzhia plant was captured by Russian forces in March. It remains close to the frontline, and has come under fire repeatedly in recent months, raising fears of a nuclear catastrophe.
Ukraine and Russia blame each other for shelling the facility.
Vitali Klitschko: Mobilisation and nuclear threats will not help Putin to destroy Ukraine
Kyiv’s Mayor Vitali Klitschko says mobilisation will do little to help Vladimir Putin’s war aims.
“The mobilisation and nuclear threats announced by Putin will not help the aggressor in his quest to conquer and destroy Ukraine and Ukrainians,” he said in a message on his Telegram channel.
“The tyrant finally launched the processes that will bury him in his country.”
Flights from Russia to neighbouring countries now sold out
All direct flights from Russia to countries that don’t require a visa are now fully booked.
Russian news outlet RBC reported that there were no seats available on flights out of the country until Friday, after a surge of bookings caused by men hoping to escape the draft.
Vast demining operation begins in Kharkiv
Ukraine is beginning work to demine 4,633 square miles of territory wrested back from Russian control in the eastern Kharkiv region, an emergency service official has said.
Roman Prymush also said in a briefing that it could take several years to demine the area, which is bigger than the state of Qatar, and that the United States, Britain and Canada would help with the work.