Kremlin propagandists recreated nuclear blasts on three European capitals, claiming the missiles would hit Paris, Berlin, and London in just three minutes.
Hosts were reacting to comments from the UK’s Armed Forces Minister saying he supported Ukrainian strikes on Russia’s infrastructure, when the discussion took a dark turn.
Chairman of the nationalist Rodina party, Aleksey Zhuravlyov, pondered what would happen if Putin launched nuclear weapons against the UK, saying: ‘One Sarmat missile and the British Isles will be no more.’
Producers on the show then showed viewers a map seeming to suggest missiles could be launched from Kaliningrad, the Russian enclave between Poland, Lithuania and the Baltic Sea.
It suggested these could reach Berlin in 106 seconds, Paris in 200 seconds and London in 202 seconds.
The terrifying clip was shown on Channel One’s 60 Minutes programme – one of the most popular shows in Russia – which is hosted by husband and wife Olga Skabeyeva and Evgeny Popov.
When Skabeyeva, who has been nicknamed the ‘Iron Doll of Putin TV’ for her criticism of opposition parties, cautioned ‘but we are serious people’, the politician hit back and said: ‘I am saying that seriously.’
This prompted Popov to point out the UK also has nuclear weapons.
‘No one will survive in this war when you propose the strike with a Sarmat. Do you understand that no one will survive? No one on the planet,’ he said.
Zhuravlyov doubled down, declaring ‘we’ll start with a blank slate’, before saying the missiles ‘can’t be intercepted’.
‘Their abilities are limited. They say they can shoot it down, we’ll see about that,’ he added.
Zhuravlyov is chairman of the Rodina political party, a far right nationalist party which supports Vladimir Putin in the State Duma.
In a tweet sharing the video with a western audience, Julia Davies, creator of Russian Media Monitor, said: ‘Russian TV keeps threatening nuclear strikes against Western nations, desperately trying to deter them from continuing to help Ukraine.
‘On a side note, this is the first state TV host who doesn’t seem to be eager to die for the Motherland, arguing with a trigger-happy lawmaker.’
Earlier this week, another terrifying discussion took place on state TV, in which a top broadcaster said nuclear war is ‘probable’ and we will all ‘die someday’.
It came a day after Putin vowed to respond at ‘lightning speed’ to countries that try to interfere with his war in Ukraine, telling politicians in St Petersburg: ‘We don’t brag, we will use them’, in an apparent reference to his nuclear arsenal.
And earlier this month, the isolated despot put the world on notice that Russia was prepared to deploy its newly-tested ultra-advanced intercontinental missile – nicknamed Satan II by the West – said to be capable of destroying an area twice the size of the UK.
The US and UK have dismissed such rhetoric as sabre rattling, but the increasing frequency offers a bleak outlook of how the world is being shaped by Ukraine’s invasion.
Britain’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss believes the conflict could drag on for 10 years – branding Putin a ‘desperate rogue operator’.
It has been reported Putin is set to declare ‘all-out war’ on Ukraine ’within days’ to enable the country to launch a general mobilisation of the population, according to Russian sources and Western officials.
Although he launched the bloody invasion in February, Moscow has banned its media from using the term ‘war’ and has insisted it is a ‘special military operation’ to demilitarise and ‘denazify’ Ukraine.
However, Russian military officials are said to be furious about the failure to capture Kyiv and the downsizing of the conflict to focus on the east of the country.
It is feared Putin might use Russia’s victory day parade on May 9 to announce the mass mobilisation of his reserves for a final push in Ukraine.