A former adviser to Vladimir Putin has argued that British cities could be nuclear targets for the Russian president and blamed the West for the war in Ukraine when he launched a bizarre diatribe on British radio.
Sergey Markov made numerous baseless claims — including that Western countries use Ukrainian soldiers “as slaves” — before yelling down the phone line during his interview.
He threatened nuclear war on the West before being asked questions on the BBC’s Today program on Wednesday morning.
“Good morning,” said the host, to which Putin’s ex-advisor replied, “Good morning. Well, it’s not good morning… to everyone.”
He continued: “For Western countries, to you British listeners, I would say that Vladimir Putin told us he would be ready to use nuclear weapons against Western countries, including nuclear weapons against Britain.
Mr Markov said “Your cities will be targeted …” before being interrupted.
Mr Putin warned in a speech to the nation on Wednesday that he would be willing to use weapons of mass destruction to “protect” his country.
“If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will certainly use all available means to protect Russia and our people,” the Russian president said.
Markov was asked if he believed the Russian leader had made a clear threat not only to use tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine, but also to start a general nuclear war that would kill everyone.
He replied “not everyone”, but added that “many people in western countries can kill”.
Putin’s former adviser said: “I would say everyone in the world…is thinking about nuclear war. This nuclear war could be the result of the crazy behavior of the President of the United States, Joe Biden, and the Prime Ministers of Great Britain, Boris Johnson and Liz Truss.”
He claimed that Russia “does not want everyone in the world to die” in a nuclear war, but that he wanted to solve the war in Ukraine, that he claimed it was fought by Western countries “who used Ukrainian soldiers as their slaves”.
After claiming that Russia wanted peace, Markov was challenged by the BBC presenter who said: “You haven’t talked much about peace, have you? You just threatened us all with complete destruction, nuclear missiles coming to London, you said, and now you’re talking about peace.”
Markov replied: “If Britain continues to be an aggressor against Russia, if Britain’s Prime Minister, Liz Truss, still has a plan to destroy Russia, the people of London must understand that this threat comes from Liz Truss, who aggressor.”
He ended the interview yelling at the host, claiming that Russia had not invaded Ukraine and blaming the West for the war.
A foreign minister who was the next guest at the Today program, was asked what she thought of the interview.
“More of Putin’s lies. A complete rewrite of history. A little saber rattle,” Gillian Keegan said. “And talking about nuclear war is very useless and we would urge calm.”
She added: “It’s a serious threat, but it’s one that has been raised before.”
Markov has previously made baseless claims about the war in Ukraine to British media, telling Sky News that Volodymyr Zelensky was a “puppet” of the US and that Russia invaded Ukraine to liberate it from “neo-Nazis”.
He also said Talk TV host Jeremy Kyle was “probably misinformed” when asked whether Mr Putin was responsible for the deaths in Ukraine.