A guest on a Kremlin propaganda program has questioned whether Russians realize the gravity of the situation in Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
In a clip tweeted by journalist Julia Davis, film director Karen Shakhnazarov explained on the Russia 1 channel how he always considered “the worst possible scenario” and the war in Ukraine was no exception.
In March, Shakhnazarov gave an equally downbeat view of Russia’s chances in the war, saying on the same program, “we have to admit that we might lose.”
“Maybe I’m an alarmist,” he said in the latest clip. But considering what may come in the war, “what we are witnessing is a situation that is much more complex and dangerous than what happened during the Great Patriotic War,” he said, referring to the Russian name for World War II.
He said that unlike in 1941, when Nazi Germany invaded, there was no “unifying” Soviet ideology to bind the people together.
“This danger is great,” Shakhnazarov said, adding that Russia had been caught off guard by the supply to Kiev of medium-range missiles that could hit Crimea, the peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014 that Ukraine has vowed to recapture.
“What will happen in Crimea when the tourist season starts and the missiles start flying?” he asked while calling for a recognition that “this is a very serious confrontation” that is “fatal for us.”
“This is really a war,” he said, and not a “special military operation” as the Kremlin describes it, which if Russia loses means “we will disappear.”
“There will be no mercy, look at their rhetoric, for them it is also a fatal war,” he said. “We cannot lose, if we lose, we will meet the fate of (Indian) tribes, and then books will be written, ‘How Russia lost itself and Eurasia’.”
The show’s anchor Vladimir Solovyov took up the topic, saying that if Russia were to lose the ongoing war, “we will take the whole world with us” as he revisited themes of how Moscow should draw on its nuclear capabilities.
Solovyov also made nuclear threats on his radio show Full contactfollowing Ukraine’s reported interception of Russian missiles, including six hypersonic Kinzhals, which raised questions about Moscow’s ability to evade Kyiv’s Western-supplied defense systems.
“We haven’t even come close to showing all our weapons,” he said in a clip tweeted by Kremlin Yap, which posts videos of Russian propaganda shows on Twitter.
Solovyov was referring to the power of the Poseidon, an unmanned underwater vehicle said to be capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear warheads.
He described it as “the perfect weapon against Britain.”