Russian TV Broadcasts Nuclear Targets Following Putin’s Warnings of War


Sophia Lauer, Senior Editor

Multiple US military facilities were listed as nuclear missile targets on Russian state television, along with a report on the ongoing development of hypersonic missiles which could complete a strike in under five minutes. The broadcast came on the evening of Sunday, February 24, days after Putin said Moscow would be militarily prepared for a “Cuban missile”- style crisis if the United States wanted one.

The list on the televised report included locations of great strategic importance, such as the Pentagon and the Presidential retreat at Camp David.

Putin claims he doesn’t want an arms race, but has also amped up his military rhetoric and the aggressive nature of Russia’s state television networks.

Since the decommissioning of a Cold War era arms control treaty, Reuters reports, Russian fears of US intermediate-range missiles based in Europe have been on the rise. Putin warned if the US installs such missiles in Europe, Russia would be forced to respond with hypersonic nuclear missiles based on submarines near US waters.

The United States has discounted Russia’s warnings as slanderous propaganda, indicating the US has no immediate plans to deploy such missiles in Europe, and has no ground-based intermediate-range nuclear missiles available for placement in Europe.

The United States decided in 2018 to quit the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty after Russia allegedly violated the treaty. Quitting the treaty has heightened hostilities between the US and Russia, and allows the US to start developing and deploying intermediate-range nuclear missiles on European ground.

Some analysts see Putin’s aggressive warnings and broadcasts as invitations for the US to ask for peace talks to re-establish a strategic balance between Russia and the United States. Moscow has long sought for such talks, with mixed results.

‘Vesti Nedeli,’ Russia’s main weekly television news program, showed a map of the United States on the Sunday evening broadcast and identified several targets Moscow would want to hit in the event of nuclear war, reports BBC.

The report claimed the “Tsirkon” (Zircon) hypersonic missiles can hit a target within five minutes of launch from a Russian submarine. Hypersonic flight is more than five times the speed of sound.

“For now, we’re not threatening anyone, but if such a deployment takes place, our response will be instant,” said Dmitry Kiselyov, the news presenter for ‘Vesti Nedeli.’ Kiselyov is one of the main conduits of state television’s strongly anti-American tone, once saying Moscow could turn the United States into “radioactive ash.”