Russian state TV on Wednesday declared that World War III with the West has already begun — warning that the US would “pay a heavy price” for interfering in the Ukraine war.
Olga Skabeyeva, the steely-eyed host of “60 Minutes” on the state TV channel Russia-1, declared this week that the “special military operation” in Ukraine was over.
“A real war has already begun — World War III,” she said. “We are forced to conduct a demilitarization not only of Ukraine, but of the entire NATO alliance.”
The Kremlin mouthpiece singled out Britain and the US, pointing out that the western counties have been supplying huge quantities of weapons to Ukraine that are now being used on the battlefield against Russia.
Another Putin supporter, political scientist with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Avatkov, then chimed in, saying: “anyone who would try to interfere with the special operation will pay a heavy price for it.”
Skabeyeva, who is known for her hawkish rhetoric on her prime-time talk show, then raised the specter of nuclear war.
“There are so many people who have lined up to interfere with the Russia’s special operation on the Ukrainian territory that we must act,” she said, “but we have yet to figure out how to act without resorting to a nuclear strike.”
Russian lawmaker Oleg Matveychev, who was also a guest on the program, darkly hinted that Poland could be Russia’s next target, if it decides to become directly involved in the conflict.
“If Poland begins some kind of a military intervention, it must realize that its current borders are guaranteed by post-war military treaties,” Matveychev said. “If they move past those borders, then they will nullify all post-war treaties… Poland’s borders will be worthless if they cross the borders.
“They must understand that their existence will be hanging by a thread.”
Skabeyeva and the pundits she invites on her show have been spreading pro-Kremlin propaganda since the start of the war, and making saber-rattling statements threatening the US and NATO with nuclear annihilation.
Meanwhile, Russian forces have been fighting their way through eastern Ukraine’s contested Donbas region, where they have been making gains thanks to their superiority in numbers and firepower.
Despite strong Ukrainian resistance, enemy soldiers were said to be on the verge of capturing the strategically important city of Severodonetsk, which would bring them one step closer to total control of the Luhansk Oblast.