Russian state TV apparently listed potential targets in the United States if nuclear war broke out, claiming that new Russian missiles could reach American cities in only a matter of minutes.
According to the Reuters news agency, which called the reports “unusual even by the sometimes bellicose standards of Russian state TV,” it was broadcast on Sunday, Feb. 24.
It comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Kremlin was ready for a new “Cuban Missile-style” crisis if the United States wanted to engage in one.
#Russia‘s state TV:
Host Dmitry Kiselyov boasts that Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile “won’t allow Americans to sit it out across the ocean,” names potential targets:
▪Fort Ritchie (Maryland)
▪Jim Creek (Washington State)
— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) February 24, 2019
The targets included the Pentagon building in Washington as well as Camp David, the longtime presidential retreat in Maryland.
Putin reiterated that he won’t be the first to deploy hypersonic, intermediate-range missiles in Europe but warned that it’s on the table if the United States places similar missiles on the European continent.
According to the report, Fort Ritchie in Maryland, the McClellan military base in California, and the Jim Creek Naval Radio Station in Washington state were listed on maps for a potential nuclear strike.
McClellan Air Force Base closed in 2001 and the site is now home to a privately owned public-use airport — not exactly a high-value target.
Fort Ritchie closed in 1998 and McClellan closed in 2001. Jim Creek is still operational.
Dmitry Kiselyov, a presenter of Russia’s main weekly TV news show “Vesti Nedeli,” presented a map of the United States and identified the targets.
“For now, we’re not threatening anyone, but if such a deployment takes place, our response will be instant,” Kiselyov stated. The presenter is said to be close to the Kremlin.
“It suggests Kiselyov may be insane.”
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) February 26, 2019
Kiselyov previously said Russia could turn the United States into radioactive ash.
The Kremlin told Reuters this week that it won’t comment on Kiselyov’s report, adding that it doesn’t interfere with state TV’s editorial policies.
The United States has insisted that it has no plans to place the missiles in Europe.
“Every time Putin issues these bombastic threats and touts his new doomsday devices, he should know he only deepens NATO’s resolve to work together to ensure our collective security,” Eric Pahon, a Pentagon spokesman, told Reuters.
The United States recently quit the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty over what it says was a violation on behalf of the Russians.
In early February, President Donald Trump said that “we cannot be the only country in the world unilaterally bound by this treaty, or any other.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also said at the time that if within six months, Russia accepts the U.S.’s demands to destroy cruise missiles that Washington says are in violation of the pact, the treaty can be saved. If not, the “treaty terminates,” Pompeo said, reported The Associated Press.