Moscow’s tightly-controlled state TV went into propaganda overdrive, warning alliance leaders meeting in Brussels today against deploying any troops into Ukraine, even if they were there to maintain peace.
These chilling threats come four weeks into Russia’s invasion, as Putin’s forces continue to bombard countless Ukrainian cities with air raids, but Kyiv’s resistance holds fast.
Moscow continues to cover up the extent of its losses in the war, having not updated its official death toll in weeks.
The ratcheting up of rhetoric saw blunt, undisguised warnings from the Kremlin’s mouthpieces on state TV, worrying that Poland would seek a NATO mandate for peacekeepers.
They also went on to claim Poland would seek a land grab, to snatch back Ukrainian territory that was once part of Poland, such as the city of Lviv.
TV presenter Vyacheslav Nikonov claimed that Russian truck drivers stuck on the border had spotted “an accumulation of American and Polish troops.
“As for me Poland strives not just to fulfil a peacekeeping mission, but to stake out the territories which they consider belonging to them historically.”
Olga Skabeyeva, host of state-owned Rossiya 1’s show 60 Minutes said: “If NATO members send peacekeepers to Ukraine…
“They should understand that this will represent a direct clash between the armed forces of Russia and NATO.
“And how this collision will end is probably not worth explaining … this is called World War Three.”
Despite threats of ratcheting up the warfare, Russia’s invasion continues to stall and stutter in the face of logistical and morale issues and huge Ukrainian resistance.
Early reports suggested that the Kremlin intended to take Ukraine in a ‘lightning invasion’ lasting days.
Russia’s threats were echoed on other Kremlin-controlled shows. On Channel 1, Colonel Yury Knutov, repeated the same claims.
He said: “If there are any sane people left in NATO, they will not approve [a peacekeeping] operation [in Ukraine].
“Why? Because [a collective] NATO decision will mean a de facto declaration of war on Russia … this would be a Casus belli, meaning war between Russia and NATO.
“To win this war, whether we like it or not, we will have to use tactical nuclear weapons in the theatre of operations.
( Image: Rossiya 1/east2west news)
“This will then entail the use of powerful strategic nuclear weapons … which means universal nuclear war.”
Russia’s state TV mouthpiece also warned the same outcome would come about if Poland acted independently, and not under the NATO umbrella.
Throughout its unsuccessful invasion of Ukraine, Russia has repeatedly made threats towards the west about intervention.
On top of the invasion not going as planned, reports from The Financial Times and Washington Post suggest that Russia had been begging China for military equipment and financial support to help it get around sanctions, since it all began on February 24.
China, along with India, is one of the few powers yet to denounce Putin’s bloody invasion into Ukraine.
The butcher of Chechnya, veteran Colonel General Vladimir Shamanov, told Channel 1 that Putin should secure Ukraine’ s western border with Poland.