Russian state TV says Ukraine invasion ‘has already escalated into World War 3’

Viewers were told to ‘recognise’ that Russia is now ‘fighting against Nato infrastructure, if not Nato itself’

Emily Atkinson
Friday 15 April 2022 16:08 BST
Russian state TV presenter says war in Ukraine 'has already escalated into World War 3'
Leer en Español

A Russian state TV host has said the reason president Vladimir Putin’s “special operation” in Ukraine is taking so long is because the country has entered World War Three against Nato.

The remarks from one of Russia’s most prominent television presenters follow a stinging symbolic defeat for Moscow with the sinking of the flagship of its Black Sea fleet, Moskva.

Presenter Olga Skabeyeva implored Rossiya 1 viewers to “recognise” that the country was now “fighting against Nato infrastructure, if not Nato itself.”

She said: “Many are saying ‘could it not be done more quickly?’ Everyone wants it to happen more quickly. Everyone would like a conclusive victory. Everyone would like all the objectives set to be implemented.

“Otherwise, on the whole, it’s impossible to accept the special operation which we started - Russia’s special operation in Ukraine.

The presenter continued: “One can safely call what it has escalated into World War Three. That’s absolutely for sure.

“Right now, we’re definitely fighting against Nato infrastructure, if not Nato itself. We need to recognise that.”

It comes as the 610 ft flagship Moskva sank on Thursday while being towed back to port, the Russian defence ministry said.

Moskva sails in the Bosphorus, on its way to the Black Sea, in July 2021 (REUTERS)

Russian defence officials said ammunition on board the ship had exploded in an unexplained fire, but Ukraine claimed it struck the ship with its Neptune missiles.

Moscow denied there was an attack on the warship and said that its guided missile launchers were intact.

The Moskva’s loss dealt a fresh blow to the Russian offensive as it prepares for a new assault in the eastern Donbas region that is likely to define the conflict’s outcome.

In his nightly address on Thursday, President Volodymyr Zelensky told Ukrainians they should be proud of having survived 50 days under the Russian seige when the invaders “gave us a maximum of five.”

Listing the ways Ukraine has defended against the onslaught, Zelensky mentioned “those who showed that Russian warships can sail away, even if it’s to the bottom” of the sea. It was his only reference to the Moskva.

Vladimir Putin and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi leave the Moskva at the Black Sea port of Sochi, in August 2014 (via REUTERS)

Elsewhere, the Kremlin today claimed that its forces struck a military target on the edge of Kyiv overnight with cruise missiles, before promising to unleash more strikes on the Ukrainian capital in response its attacks on Russian targets.

Powerful explosions were reported to have been heard in Kyiv in the wake of Moscow’s announcement regarding the fate of the Moskva.

This map shows the extent of the Russian invasion of Ukraine (Press Association Images)

The defence ministry’s statement claimed that its overnight missile strikes on Kyiv had struck the ‘Vizar’ factory on the edge of the city, which it said made and repaired missiles, including anti-ship missiles.

“The number and scale of missile strikes on targets in Kyiv will increase in response to any terrorist attacks or acts of sabotage on Russian territory committed by the Kyiv nationalist regime,” the ministry added.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in