‘It Is What It Is’: Russian State TV in Normal Discussion About Nuclear War

“We’re all going to die someday,” said Margarita Simonyan, editor in chief of RT, while TV anchor Vladimir Solovyov added that at least “we will go to heaven.”
Simon Childs
London, GB
Margarita Simonyan speaking to a panel on Russian state media. Screengrab: Russian state media
Margarita Simonyan speaking to a panel on Russian state media. Screengrab: Russian state media

Nuclear war would be OK because “we’re all going to die someday”, a Russian broadcaster told TV viewers on Wednesday night.

Margarita Simonyan, editor of Russian state broadcaster RT, one of the Kremlin’s highest-profile mouthpieces, told a panel show, “Either we lose in Ukraine, or the Third World War starts. I think World War III is more realistic, knowing us, knowing our leader.

“The most incredible outcome, that all this will end with a nuclear strike, seems more probable to me than the other course of events.

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“This is to my horror on one hand”, she said, “but on the other hand, it is what it is.”

TV anchor Vladimir Solovyov added, "But we will go to heaven, while they will simply croak."

The remarks reflect the current rhetoric from the Kremlin, that Russia is in a wider conflict with the NATO military alliance, which could lead to World War III.

Russian President Vladimir Putin started saber-rattling about nuclear weapons shortly after it became clear that the war in Ukraine would not be the short-lived “special operation” he had initially hoped for.

Days after Russia invaded Ukraine, Putin put his nuclear forces on high alert citing “aggressive statements” by NATO and financial sanctions.

On Wednesday he threatened other countries involved in the conflict.

“If someone intends to interfere in what is going on from the outside, they must know that constitutes an unacceptable strategic threat to Russia,” he told journalists in St. Petersburg.

“We have all the weapons we need for this. No one else can brag about these weapons, and we won’t brag about them. But we will use them.”

Putin did not mention nuclear weapons directly, but the comment appeared to refer to Russia’s status as a nuclear power.

Last week Russia tested the Satan 2 nuclear weapon, which could wipe out a territory the size of the UK or France in a single strike, for the first time in a show of strength.