Russian state television seems to be grooming people for nuclear war

Russian state television seems to be grooming people for nuclear war
(AP Photo, File)

An odd story comes to us this week from Russian state television. The editor of RT, Margarita Simonyan, offered some rather surreal, dystopian commentary to her vast audience on Wednesday night. Whereas the network had previously been spouting the Kremlin party line about how the “special military operation” in Ukraine was little more than a corrective exercise in “denazifying” Russia’s “territory” to the south, Simonyan not only acknowledged that there was a war going on, but that Russia could conceivably lose. She then went on to speculate about the potential results of such a turn of events. She said that “knowing our leader,” it was not only possible but likely that Vladimir Putin would kick off world war 3 with a nuclear exchange. But she urged the Russian people not to panic because ” we will go to heaven while they simply croak.” (Daily Wire)

On Wednesday night, the editor of the Russian state broadcaster RT blithely discussed the possibility that Russian President Vladimir Putin would initiate a nuclear war, telling viewers, “We will go to heaven, while they will simply croak.”

Margarita Simonyan told her television audience her opinion of what might happen next in the Russia-Ukraine 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. … The most incredible outcome, that all this will end with a nuclear strike, seems more probable to me than the other course of events,” The Daily Mail reported.

Addressing a panel on the show, she continued, “This is to my horror on one hand, but on the other hand, it is what it is. We will go to heaven, while they will simply croak… We’re all going to die someday.”

I will confess that I found this revelation more alarming than any of the normal propaganda coming out of the Kremlin and designed for consumption by the west. This is Russian state television and with the exception of a couple of rogue reporters who are quickly removed from service, nothing is said on the air that doesn’t have Putin’s personal seal of approval. That’s particularly true for someone as highly placed as the editor of RT.

Is the Kremlin trying to ensure that the population is resigned to a worst-case scenario and grooming them to accept their fate as patriots? The message here seems to be that the Russian people should realize that this is an “us against the world” situation, where they are the good guys and the evil west is seeking to destroy them. And rather than losing their country and their national identity, it would be better to go out with a bang in a war that Russia would inevitably lose while taking as many of the evil westerners with them as possible.

To be fair, the western world is already at war with Russia, but it’s an economic war for the moment. The list of countries still taking Russia’s side and being willing to trade with them is small, consisting almost entirely of the new Axis of Evil. And even then, China has been vacillating between supporting Moscow and engaging in some minor sanctions. That’s an unsustainable condition for Russia and their economy would eventually collapse if the global trade situation doesn’t normalize at some point soon. But it’s also a very different scenario than an all-out war.

This is one possible outcome that has worried me from the beginning of this mess. I don’t think we can rule out the possibility that Vladimir Putin’s ego simply won’t allow him to accept defeat and return to his corner with his tail between his legs. His military has already been shown to be far more toothless than we had assumed for the past several decades. He can’t launch a land war against Europe or the United States when he can barely keep his troops in line to defeat a comparatively impoverished nation like Ukraine.

So all he has left at that point are his nukes. Russia claims to have 6,257 nuclear warheads and some very advanced delivery vehicles. Our missile defense systems have never really been put to the test in a real-world combat environment. We could probably stop some of them, but not all. I understand this is an unsettling thought, but we may be approaching the point where we will be forced to consider it.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on HotAir Video

John Sexton 10:00 PM on June 02, 2023