Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, delivered a sermon on the occasion of the Orthodox Epiphany in Moscow this week. He spoke to those who want to “defeat Russia”, taking the opportunity to threaten the West: “We pray that the Lord will admonish those madmen and help them to understand that any desire to destroy Russia will mean the end of the world. will mean.” .”
Russia’s top propagandists, from former President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev to state television host Vladimir Solovyov, have spread the same not-so-subtle nuclear threat far and wide — and yet Putin’s mouthpieces are now concerned that the “boy who cried the wolf” routine is no longer taken seriously by their target audience in the West. The dilemma manifested itself during a live broadcast of The evening with Vladimir Solovyov. After the lineup of talking heads took turns repeating that Russia’s defeat would mean the end of the world, their agitprop was suddenly deflated by Yevgeny Satanovsky, president of the Middle East Institute.
“First of all, our greatest enemy is certainly the United States. What is the US responding to? They are responding to two things: the threat of physical destruction and the liquidation of a certain number of military personnel. What we know from wars in Vietnam and Korea is that several tens of thousands of US servicemen killed will put a heavy strain on public opinion in the US. I repeat: not a few thousand, as in Afghanistan or Iraq, but a certain number of tens of thousands. Who will liquidate them, where they will be liquidated and in what way is completely irrelevant, but this is one of the objectives if we want to influence American leadership. We have absolutely nothing to lose.”
Head RT Margarita Simonyan described the mood in the country: “In every house, in every kitchen and living room, in every courtyard, all conversations are only about what will happen next, how it will all end… I don’t understand every possible course of action except the following: first of all, they will not stop. I’m not talking about Ukraine or Zelensky [She is talking about the West]… They will continue to keep the stakes so high that it will hurt us. The security of the territory of the Russian Federation will be at stake, not only of the newly added territories. I have no doubt that they will do everything they can to make us worry about the safety of Moscow, or at least give it some serious thought… This will definitely happen!”
Simonyan concluded, “This can only end with an imminent threat being uttered and presented, a threat of nuclear confrontation.” She argued that the failure of the West to agree to the list of demands presented by Russian President Vladimir Putin in December 2021 led to the invasion of Ukraine. Simonyan said that after Putin’s ultimatum was made public, she told her friends, “Guys, there will definitely be a big war. Something very big will happen towards the end of winter!”
She claimed that the West’s refusal to withdraw from its support for Ukraine would lead to even greater consequences this time: “It is true that no one will win in a nuclear war, but who needs the world if not Russia in? the? It was spoken aloud, it was said by Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin!” The head of RT concluded: “I don’t see any other outcome… It’s going to be a wrecking ball! It’s going to be all inclusive! It will be like two planes colliding head-on. Someone will have to pull out and something tells me it won’t be us.”
Andrey Kartapolov, the head of Russia’s Duma Defense Committee, continued Simonyan’s diatribe by boasting of the motherland’s nuclear power and preposterously claiming that Russia defeated the West in World War II, leaving NATO “afraid of WWIII “. Resorting to grotesque threats, Kartapolov addressed the West with a line from an old Soviet film: “Don’t worry, it won’t hurt if we cut your throat. We cut only once and you are in heaven… Our victory will take place wherever the Russian soldier stops – and wherever he stops, from there he will never leave.
Not everyone in the studio agreed with the idea that merely bringing the planet to the brink of nuclear catastrophe would dissolve the Russian quagmire in Ukraine. Political scientist Sergey Mikheyev objected to Simonyan’s scenario of head-to-head confrontation, arguing that the art of diplomacy should not be reduced to that deplorable state. He advocated asymmetric measures to achieve Russia’s goals. Solovyov agreed to soften the blow, telling Mikheyev, “Sergey Alexandrovich, we are just irresponsible journalists. We can afford that.” Mikheyev replied softly, “We’re not even journalists.”
Americanist Dmitry Drobnitsky similarly mocked Simonyan’s idea of a “head-to-head” confrontation accompanied by nuclear threats, arguing that this strategy would repel Russia’s current sympathizers, such as India or China.
Even Satanovsky rejected the simplistic thinking behind Simonyan’s story, telling her, “When it comes to ceasing to exist, we can’t limit ourselves to thinking they read what the president said and believed it — no, Margarita, they Do not believe it.” He argued that his idea of killing thousands of American troops to avoid destroying all of America was much more feasible. Not a single expert in the studio spoke out against Satanovsky’s macabre proposal. Drobnitsky had only one exception: “In our country, we embraced one American whom we wouldn’t want to kill: that would be Tucker Carlson.”