Vladimir Solovyov, Putin’s top TV propagandist, has called for London to be « turned to dust » following reports that Ukraine could use British missiles to strike at Russian-occupied Crimea. Solovyov made the call on his show on channel Russia 1, where guests repeat pro-war Russian propaganda, using quotes from a British media report about the possibility that the British government could supply Kyiv with Harpoon anti-ship missiles or surface-to-air Storm Shadow missiles. Ukraine could use such weapons to hit deep inside Russian-occupied Crimea. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had held talks with Ukrainian President Voldymyr Zelensky about the UK’s ability to provide long-range missiles to Kyiv, which it currently does not have. Discussions are now said to be taking place about whether to include Harpoon missiles (which can reach up to 150 miles) or Storm Shadow missiles (350 miles), which would allow Ukraine to strike deep behind Russian lines. The UK and other western countries have pledged military aid to Ukraine including sending battle tanks and providing modern weapons.
Solovyov’s show regularly calls for the bombing of the UK and Ukraine’s other Western allies. Last weekend, Solovyov asked television viewers during his Solovyov Live show why London had not been struck, then added, « Well, at the Parliament too.” He took issue with the fact that the UK and almost all members of the UN recognise Crimea as part of Ukraine, claiming that it had been occupied by Nazi states united by hatred for everything Russian. Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 after an internationally unrecognised referendum showed that the majority of the peninsular supported joining Russia. Solovyov is not alone in using such language; last year, an expert on Solovyov’s show said that Russia should detonate a nuclear bomb off the coast of the UK to cause a nuclear tsunami.
Kyiv has asked for modern weapons to be supplied quickly to its forces as Russia’s new spring offensive has started. Nato allies, including the UK, Germany and the US, have promised to send battle tanks to Ukraine. Kyiv is calling for long-range missiles and fighter jets to increase its firepower. Mr Zelensky has ruled out giving up any Ukrainian land as part of any peace deal with Russia. Mr Sunak said these missiles were « going to make a big difference » in Ukraine’s fightback against Russia’s invasion. He added that any decision on supplying more advanced weaponry would be based on Ukraine’s requests and the UK’s assessment of its defence capabilities.
Solovyov asked: “What do they [the UK] want to tell us? », adding that not Russia but other countries were determining its status. He ended by saying: “Let’s strike! So that the first would ring. So that the Nazi b******* from [Emmanuel] Macron to [German chancellor Olaf] Scholz, from [German defence minister Boris] Pistorius to Rishi Sunak, would have their testicles tightened up and falling out of their ears from fear. »