Vladimir Solovyov, known as Putin’s “mouthpiece”, has threatened Europe and NATO countries of an impending war as he said Russia’s war is entering “a new stage”.
The prominent Russian state TV presenter said there “will be no mercy” during his ranting speech.
Solovyov questioned whether NATO countries will have enough weapons left to defend themselves once Russia’s invasion of Ukraine ends.
The ranting propagandist, who was sanctioned by the EU for his close ties to the Russian leader, warned that Moscow will be “grinding up NATO’s war machine as well as its citizens”.
On the state-owned Russian television channel Russia 1, Solovyov said: “I believe the special military operation is entering a new stage.
“Ukrainians alone are no longer enough. Now they’re talking about NATO countries supplying de-facto their own weapons. We’ll see not only NATO’s weapons being drawn into this but also their operators.
“De-facto, we’re starting to wage war against NATO countries. We’ll be grinding up NATO’s war machine as well as citizens of NATO countries.”
He added: “When this operation concludes, NATO will have to ask itself: Do we have what we need to defend ourselves? Do we have the people to defend ourselves?
“And there will be no mercy. There will be no mercy. Not only Ukraine will have been denazified, the war against Europe and the world is developing a more specific outline which means we’ll have to act differently and to act much more harshly.”
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The presenter’s troubling comments come just weeks after arsonists targetted his villa in Lake Como, and activists poured red paint into his swimming pool at another of his luxury properties and scrawled “killer” on the wall.
Russia recently announced its plans to take over the south of Ukraine and the whole of the Donbas region.
Rustam Minnekayev, the deputy commander of Russia’s military, said Putin’s army plans to forge a corridor between Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula which Russia annexed in 2014, and the Donbas in eastern Ukraine.
Ukrainian fighters left in Mariupol, that Russia claims to have seized, are holed up at Azovstal industrial facility which Putin has ordered to be blockaded, condemning the soldiers and civilians inside to their deaths.
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Mr Minnekayev said should Russia’s forces seize southern Ukraine, it would improve the army’s access to Moldova’s pro-Russian breakaway region of Transdniestria.
Transdniestria borders Ukraine, causing Kyiv to fear the area could be used as a launching pad for new attacks from Russian troops.
Ukraine’s Defence Ministry has denounced Russia’s plans to seize full control of Donbas and southern Ukraine, calling it “imperialism”.
The ministry wrote on Twitter that Russia had “acknowledged that the goal of the ‘second phase’ of the war is not victory over the mythical Nazis, but simply the occupation of eastern and southern Ukraine. Imperialism as it is”.