Moscow: Russia today said Russian television broadcasts about a possible nuclear strike on the United Kingdom (UK) had “nothing to do with quotations from statements by Russian officials”. Responding to a question in this regard, the Deputy Director of the Foreign Ministry’s Information and Press Department Alexey Zaitsev told the questioner, “We do not know what particular statement aired by Russian television you are talking about”. He added, “We regard your question as yet another clumsy attempt to shift the UK public’s attention from truly important developments now unfolding in Ukraine to the discussion of seemingly absurd issues”.
At the same time, however, while speaking of risks and possible reasons for concern, Zaitsev said they are not generated by Russian television and even UK media outlets, “but, rather, by the direct actions of Western countries, including the deconstructive activities of UK authorities”.
It may be mentioned that on Sunday, May 1, 2022, the host of a show on Russia’s main state-controlled broadcaster Channel One, Dmitry Kiselyov, said Britain could be transformed into an uninhabitable wasteland by a nuclear strike from the sea by the unmanned underwater vehicle Poseidon, a form of nuclear-powered and nuclear-armed torpedo, that has a yield of up to 100 megatonnes and “the explosion of this thermonuclear torpedo by Britain’s coastline…cause a giant tsunami wave up to 500m high”.
The Russian threats to the UK, political commentators argue, could be in retaliation for the significant supply of arms to Ukraine by the UK. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also twice visited Kyiv to support Ukraine in face of the Russian aggression.
The UK continues to provide military aid, as Ukraine fights President Putin’s illegal invasion. 🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦
Find out more here: https://t.co/GkHyP9kMYM
Here’s a summary of our lethal aid support.👇 pic.twitter.com/WpL9EEUzgc
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) April 27, 2022
In fact, more than a month before the Russian invasion, the UK began supplying arms to Ukraine in January 2022 itself.
Last week, without being specific to the UK, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that if any country intervened in Russia’s adventure in Ukraine, Moscow’s response would be “lightning fast” for which Russia had “all the tools … that no one else can boast of having”.
Before Putin, the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, warned about the use of nuclear weapons in case the Baltic nations made any move to join NATO.
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov too did not rule out the option of using nuclear weapons and reportedly said the risk was “considerable” since the West continued to supply weapons to Ukraine.
However, in his recent media interviews, Lavrov primarily underscored the need to unfailingly honour understandings on the unacceptability of nuclear war and, considering escalation risks, the unacceptability of any armed conflict between nuclear powers.
Zaitsev referred to these interviews of Lavrov and said Russia had “repeatedly provided exhaustive comments” on topics related to nuclear weapons. He also accused Kyiv of blocking the evacuation of Ukrainian citizens to Russia. “Despite this, about 1.1 million people have already left for our country, including 201,000 children. Another 2.7 million people said they were willing to do so,” he said.
He further claimed the Russian military was clearing cities and farmland from thousands of mines and explosive devices which he claimed were planted by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. “Monuments to the heroes of the Great Patriotic War are being restored. Grocery stores and public institutions are opening in Mariupol, and public transport has resumed service. More than 17,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid have been delivered to the DPR, the LPR and a number of Ukrainian regions.
Russia said humanitarian corridors open daily and there was one such corridor for the evacuation of civilians from the underground facilities of the Azovstal plant. “It is open from 8 am to 6 pm on May 5-7. The Russian military units have ceased hostilities during this period and are working to ensure the safe exit of citizens and their further movement in a direction of their choice,” Zaitsev said. He blamed “Ukrainian nationalists and foreign mercenaries” for waging war against civilians in Ukraine and the republics of Donbass. “Indiscriminate shelling of the DPR and LPR communities is carried out daily. Ukrainian military equipment is deployed in residential areas. Firing positions are built in hospitals, schools and kindergartens,” he said.
The Ukrainian foreign ministry though, today quoted Regional Military Administrations to claim that in the last 24 hours, Russia had shelled the Mykolaiv, the Kherson, the Luhansk, the Dnipropetrovsk, the Kharkiv, the Zaporizhzhia, and the Donetsk regions killing 1 person, and injuring 11 others. Serhii Haidai, Head of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration blamed Russia for destroying “every single gas station and fuel storage in the Luhansk region”.
– global bihari bureau