Russia could turn US into ‘radioactive ash’, warns pro-Kremlin TV as Biden prepares to confront Putin over Ukraine
RUSSIA could turn US into "radioactive ash", a pro-Kremlin TV show has warned as Joe Biden gets set to confront Vladimir Putin over Ukraine.
It comes as Moscow is holding new military drills involving 500-plus tanks while insisting it has no plans to invade its neighbouring ex-Soviet state.
State TV channel Rossiya 1 said the video summit between Washington and Moscow came at a “peak of tension”.
TV presenter Dmitry Kiselyov claimed President Putin – accused by the West of positioning 175,000 troops to invade Ukraine early next year – is "using every opportunity to clarify Russia’s stance on the search for a balance of interests”, and to make clear its “red lines”.
He accused the US of peddling “fakes about Russia’s intention to invade Ukraine”, while "fluffing out its feathers and demonstrating its military might” especially in the Black Sea.
Warning that US President Biden should heed Russia’s demands over Ukraine, he alluded to Moscow’s vast nuclear arsenal and hypersonic capability.
"At the last Russian-American summit, Joe Biden signed a joint document with Vladimir Putin, a statement on strategic stability,” he told his viewers.
“There it was written as plain as day: ‘Today, we reaffirm the principle that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought’.
“If Biden accepts this, then he really doesn't want the US to be turned into radioactive ash. This is the red line for Biden, put by Putin.”
Kiselyov has been called Putin’s “mouthpiece” and “propagandist-in-chief”.
Moscow has demanded that Ukraine should not be admitted to NATO, and that strike weapons should not be placed on its soil by Western powers, asserting that they would pose a direct threat to Russia.
Meanwhile, more than 500 tanks crews from Russia’s Southern military district conducted live firing exercises.
The district includes the Krasnodar region and annexed Black Sea peninsular Crimea which both border Ukraine.
The drills involved T-72B3 and T-90A tanks, and included firing from a large-caliber anti-aircraft machine gun, said reports.
“The crews improved their skills in hitting targets imitating a moving tank, anti-tank grenade launcher crew and recoilless artillery gun at distances from 300 to 2000 metres,” said one account.
Soldiers from the 150th Motorised Rifle Division were also exercising at the Kadamovsky training ground in Rostov region, which also borders Ukraine, at Russia’s “newest tank training facility”, said reports.
The US secretary of state Antony Blinken has told Swedish television that the threat from Russia was “very serious because what we’ve seen is the massing of significant forces near the border with Ukraine”.
Efforts to undermine Ukraine included a “social media propaganda campaign” that has been ratcheted up ten times over the past month.
He said: "The consequences would be terrible. It’s in no one’s interest.
“We thought it was important to make very clear to Russia the consequences that would result if it engages in aggression toward Ukraine.
“So I hope that that factors into President Putin’s calculus and that Russia takes another course.”
A major Russian newspaper also warned Putin of the consequences of invading Ukraine.
Moskovsky Komsomolets quoted Ivan Timofeyev, programme director of the Valdai Club, warning the Kremlin that “the costs of a possible war between Russia and Ukraine significantly outweigh the benefits…
“Such a military conflict is unlikely to be completed with any intelligible agreement.
“Victory over the armed forces of Ukraine will not by itself lead to a quick peace.
“The war may develop into a long and sluggish confrontation.”
He warned that Russia would “get stuck in a Ukrainian swamp, attempts to get out of which will consume all our energy for many decades”.
It comes as the ex Soviet state has claimed its fighter jets have intercepted a US spy plane which was flying over the Black Sea.
And US intelligence has detected Russia amassing 175,000 troops on the border with Ukraine preparing for a "massive offensive" as soon as early next year with fears of war are growing in the region.
And a 600-strong task force of British special forces – including SAS commandos and soldiers from the Parachute Regiment – are being prepared to deploy to Ukraine to help secure the situation.
Russia being a key ally of Belarus, which the European Union says was responsible for flying in thousands of migrants, most of them from the Middle East, and pushing them to try to cross illegally into Poland.
Russia denies Moscow and Minsk were involved, and Putin blamed the West for the crisis referring to conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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