Vladimir Putin started Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and since then there has been a lot of speculation surrounding his personal health and the overall strength of Russia. The idea that either could have weaknesses is something that Russia insistently squashes. Indeed, a recent warning was issued over what would happen to Russians who had celebrated after rumours of Putin’s alleged death broke.
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TV host Vladimir Solovyov is an endlessly loyal supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He has spoken before about Russia’s nuclear power, but his most recent comments highlight a terrifying target for such attacks. Here’s what he said, and why such an attack could lead to a much bigger international conflict.
What Vladimir Solovyov said
A video was posted to X on Sunday which showed Vladimir Solovyov reacting to comments made by NATO leadership. He referenced a comment from Peter Nielsen, the commander of NATO forces in Lithuania. Nielsen suggested that Kaliningrad would be blockaded if a broader Russia-NATO conflict did occur. As Newsweek explained:
Kaliningrad is a key Russian port city on the Baltic Sea, notably situated in the Kaliningrad Oblast, a territory separate from the rest of Russia and enclosed by Lithuania and Poland.
Solovyov reacted to Nielsen’s comments, as translated by The Kremlin Yap:
Does he think that they will encircle us in a blockade, and we will sit and count our bullets?
Doesn't he realize that we're going to strike with nuclear weapons right away? It is beyond comprehension...We're going to say goodbye to all these countries.
What an attack on NATO could mean
The TV host continued on his rant, insinuating that the destruction of a Russian nuclear attack would be so drastic that people would ask:
What happened here? I don't know. You can't make sense out of the embers.
He laughed off the idea that NATO would have any say in what happened:
NATO guys, are you really cretins? Do you honestly think that we, with all our gigantic stockpile of strategic and tactical nuclear weapons, will listen to [those opposed to the use of nuclear weapons], who always say, 'No, stop it'?
He clarified: ‘We won't even ask them.’ What makes his comments so worrying is that NATO countries are bound together: if Russia were to attack a single member nation, Article 5 of the NATO agreement states that all member states will view this as an attack and provide military support in response.
So, if Russia were to attack as Solovyov suggests, it could mean that a much wider conflict would break out as a result.
Newsweek: Putin Ally Threatens to Obliterate NATO Countries With Nuclear Weapons
Nato.int: Collective defence and Article 5