In one of the more alarming developments of the Russian invasion into Ukraine is the constant escalation in rhetoric surrounding the potential use of nuclear weapons by the aggressors.
Much of the talk began when Vladimir Putin’s army ran into trouble attempting to conquer Kyiv. The embarrassing failure exposed a weakness in the Russian military that the world wasn’t expecting, and Putin was forced to dangle a preemptive nuclear strike over the heads of the western world should they decide to directly intervene in Ukraine.
Since that time, Putin and his cronies have been threatening to use nuclear devices nearly daily, and the latest mutation of these statement is the most worrisome yet.
Margarita Simonyan, editor of state broadcaster RT and one of the Kremlin’s highest-profile mouthpieces, declared on TV last night that the idea of Putin pressing the red button is ‘more probable’ than the idea that he will allow Russia to lose the war.
‘Either we lose in Ukraine,’ she said, ‘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.
‘This is to my horror on one hand,’ she told a panel of experts shifting nervously in their seats, ‘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.’
The Russian propaganda machine has been no stranger to this nuclear narrative of late, but these remarks are perhaps the most troubling to date.