Pentagon Calls Russian TV Panel
Discussion of Nuclear Strike ‘Reckless’
(April 22, 2022) — Pentagon press secretary John Kirby responded to a Russian state-run TV panel discussing a nuclear strike on the US, calling it “reckless.”
While appearing on MSNBC‘s Morning Joe on Friday, Kirby said, “This is reckless and irresponsible rhetoric coming from a nuclear power.”
“Especially one that has the nuclear arsenal Mr. [Vladimir] Putin does and has available to him,” Kirby added.
The comments by Kirby come just a few days after a panel of Russian analysts on the state-run TV channel, Russia-1, spoke about the Russian military test-firing a nuclear-capable missile and how it could damage areas in the US, such as New York City.
“Meanwhile on Russian state TV: hosts and panelists giggling uncontrollably, while discussing nuclear strikes against the continental territory of the United States. Can you imagine any of our prominent media anchors laughing at the idea of destroying cities?” Daily Beast columnist Julia Davis wrote on Twitter sharing a video of the clip from the Russian state-run TV channel.
In the clip shared by Davis, one of the panelists discusses the test-launch of the Sarmat missile and asked, “What kind of objects can it destroy? What size of territory?”
Another panelist then responded by saying, “Objects like the city of New York, a good city, but it would be gone,” according to an English translation of the video.
According to The New York Times, shortly after the Sarmat missile test launch, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, “This truly unique weapon will force all who are trying to threaten our country in the heat of frenzied, aggressive rhetoric to think twice.”
Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, Putin announced that he was placing Russia’s nuclear weapons on high alert, citing “aggressive statements” by NATO nations, including the US
Despite Putin’s nuclear directive, US President Joe Biden in late February said that Americans shouldn’t be worried about a nuclear war with Russia.
During his appearance on Morning Joe on Friday, Kirby went on to further criticize the Russian TV panel discussing a nuclear strike on the US, saying, “The war has already gone on longer than it should have. It should have never even started. And to have a nuclear power exhibit that kind of bellicosity and be willing to talk about that, completely reprehensible.”
Kirby continued, “We take this very, very seriously, our strategic deterrent posture for our homeland as well as our deterrent posture with respect to allies and partners, and we’ve seen nothing to indicate that we need to change that posture, that we need to make any kind of nuclear capability changes to be able to defend the homeland.”
The State Department had no further comments after Newsweek reached out. Newsweek reached out to the Russian foreign ministry for comment.
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