As the war in Ukraine rages on, tensions between Russia and the rest of the world continue to rise. Now, a Kremlin mouthpiece is threatening a nuclear attack on the United States. Here is the full story.
State Owned TV
Igor Korotchenko is the editor of the Russian newspaper National Defense, and he’s also a frequent guest on the state-owned Russia-1 television channel.
Many of the guests on the channel call for military action against Ukraine’s allies. During a recent appearance, Korotchenko jumped into their ranks with both feet.
Citing widespread criticism that Russia is facing for the way they’re conducting the war, Korotchenko said that his country needs to consider all possible remedies.
The major driver for Korotchenko’s comments seems to be the hotly contested Crimean Bridge region and the peninsula it connects to mainland Russia.
Ukrainian Nuclear Weapons?
Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula back in 2014, and it remains a critical piece of real estate for both Ukraine and its invaders.
In recent months, former U.S. lieutenant general Ben Hodges has been vocal about his belief that NATO countries should supply weapons to Ukraine for the purpose of retaking Crimea.
Hodges now serves as a senior logistics advisor to NATO, so his words carry a lot of clout.
And it seems Korotchenko and other Russians at the top of the food chain are listening to those words. They don’t like what they’re hearing.
An Ominous Warning
Reading between the lines, Korotchenko said on his state T.V. appearance that Hodges has his sights set on military action that extends beyond strikes on the Crimean bridge if Russia “misbehaves.”
In particular, Korotchenko said Hodges is an advocate for U.S. attacks on Russian troops in Crimea, their Black Sea Fleet, and even their naval bases in Syria.
With that backdrop laid, Korotchenko then issued an ominous warning of his own.
Korotchenko said that there needs to be a discussion among Russian leaders about “the use and permissibility of tactical nuclear weapons” to combat interference from the U.S.
If that threat felt a little veiled, what came next was clear as day.
U.S. Soil Targeted
In a clip posted to X in the following days by Anton Gerashchenko, Ukraine’s internal affairs advisor, Korotchenko gets more specific.
“The most important message we should send to the Americans is that we will not wage war with you in Europe,” Korotchenko says in the clip, speaking to Yevgeny Popov of 60 Minutes.
Korotchenko then concludes his latest air raid by warning that “the first strike will be a preventative limited strike against targets on the territory of the United States of America.”
For his part, Hodges seemed to brush off the latest verbal threats as nothing more than bluster.
“Extremely Small” Risk
Speaking to Newsweek, Hodges said that U.S. officials now think the likelihood of Russia using nuclear weapons is “extremely small.”
Hodges points out that Russia has been threatening the world with nukes since the beginning of the Ukraine war but has so far sat on their hands in that regard.
But Hodges does acknowledge the importance of Crimea to both parties and how critical it is to the war.
“Once Ukraine liberates Crimea, it is over,” he said.
What the ultimate price will be for attempts to make that liberation happen is yet to be seen.
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