A Russian propagandist with close ties to Vladimir Putin has warned nuclear war is “unavoidable” but that it won’t lead to the collapse of humanity by citing previous nuclear blasts.
In a recent debate on state TV, Rossiya-1 host Vladimir Solovyov justified his view by saying that a nuclear strike would not lead to widespread death and destruction if “used against a non-nuclear nation”—perhaps a foreboding hint at the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, which has turned into a slow, attritional war with over 300,000 Russian casualties.
Newsweek reached out to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs via email for comment on Friday.
The use of nuclear arms is something the Russian president has previously threatened, sparking outrage from NATO, but has yet to act on given the nuclear arsenal held by members of the alliance, including the United States.
However, the threat of nuclear attacks by Russia is something propagandists have increasingly been mentioning as the military situation in Ukraine grows more dire.
According to a translation by the Daily Beast’s Russia Media Monitor unit, published on Thursday, Solovyov told panelists nuclear war was “unavoidable,” adding: “It will happen, no doubt about it.”
When Vitaly Tretyakov, a Russian journalist and dean of a TV school at Lomonosov State University, expressed a desire to make sure that it does not happen, Solovyov disagreed.
“Nuclear war is the means for something,” he said. “It’s strange to fight over the means; a nuclear war fulfills a certain goal. Not every nuclear war leads to destruction.”
Solovyov added: “We already had a nuclear war. Two nuclear bombs were dropped on the territory of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan.”
Tretyakov argued this was not a nuclear war in the conventional sense.
Solovyov hit back: “Why not? Nuclear weapons were used. Not every nuclear war leads to destruction.
“If nukes are used against a non-nuclear nation, it won’t lead to the nuclear collapse of humanity. Everyone in the military studies the use of tactical nuclear weapons—they know…and they understand how and where [they can be used].”
“Tragically, we observed the aftereffects of radiation on two occasions, at least for our generation: one of them, the territory of the Soviet Union,” he goes on to say, seemingly referencing the nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl, “another one, the territory of Japan. It didn’t lead to the global demise of humanity.”