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Putin’s top propagandist warns Britain is ‘the right size’ for a nuke strike

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Vladimir Putin has unleashed his TV propagandist attack dogs against Britain with a new threat to unleash a Satan-2 hypersonic nuclear bomb on the United Kingdom.

In prime time shows on Russia’s Channel 1, laden with hyperbole and hysteria, British Defence secretary Ben Wallace was accused of choreographing Ukraine’s war against Russia, amounting to ‘international terrorism’.

‘He’s becoming like [Osama] Bin Laden,’ one Putin defence expert said, without a hint of irony, while clips of Wallace speaking in the house of commons played.

The blasts aimed at Wallace and Britain from the grim-faced propagandists smacked of acknowledgement that Russia’s war is going awry, and that Western weaponry is proving to be a significant boon to Ukraine’s efforts to repel Vladimir Putin’s forces.

The verbal attack came after Ukraine likely was responsible for destroying multiple Russian warplanes in an attack on Russian occupied Crimea – about which there is a virtual news blackout on pro-Kremlin channels.

The attack that suggests Kyiv may have obtained new long-range strike capability with the potential to change the course of the war.

Vladimir Putin has unleashed his TV propagandist attack dogs against Britain’s Defence Secretary Ben Wallace (pictured speaking in Copenhagen on Thursday) with a new threat to unleash a Satan-2 hypersonic nuclear bomb on the United Kingdom

In prime time shows on Russia's Channel 1 (pictured), laden with hyperbole and hysteria, British Defence secretary Wallace was accused of choreographing Ukraine's war against Russia, amounting to 'international terrorism'

In prime time shows on Russia’s Channel 1 (pictured), laden with hyperbole and hysteria, British Defence secretary Wallace was accused of choreographing Ukraine’s war against Russia, amounting to ‘international terrorism’

Putin’s ‘Iron Doll’ TV anchor Olga Skabeyeva warned her viewers on the Rossiya 1 state TV channel: ‘Britain’s defence secretary, the famous Ben Wallace, who was not against nuclear weapons for Kyiv, said – and it matters – that all targets in Crimea for a Ukrainian strike could be considered legitimate.

‘What’s more, Britain will hand over three more 270 MLRS to Ukraine, in addition to the three already supplied, plus a significant amount of ammunition.’

She stressed: ‘We conclude that Britain wants to openly go to war with Russia.

‘Good luck! ‘But first, I would advise you to sort out, or try to sort out, your own economy. Nearly 100,000 British residents…are all demanding lower energy bills and are threatening civil disobedience, rallies, protests.

‘The Bank of England calculates that the average family in England will spend up to almost £300 a month on electricity from October. But the British don’t have that kind of money, and there is a 13% inflation rate at the same time.’

Reserve colonel Igor Korotchenko – editor-in-chief of Russia’s National Defence magazine – joined the attack on the same 60 Minutes show.

‘We see how Ben Wallace, UK defence minister, urges Ukraine to attack Russian Crimea,’ he said. ‘He claimed that any goal on Crimea is legitimate for the attack.

‘It’s a very serious claim. We see the integration of Kyiv and London in military activity and attacks on Russian objects.

‘There’s information about a plan to attack the Crimean bridge developing under Wallace’s direction.’

The bridge was Putin’s dream project, and opened four years ago to connect annexed Crimea to Russia by road and rail. An attack on the bridge would be a major blow to Moscow’s war efforts, and would cut Crimea off from the Russian mainland.

Several large explosions have rocked a military airbase in Russian-held Crimea as an ominous mushroom cloud sent bathers fleeing from nearby beaches

Several large explosions have rocked a military airbase in Russian-held Crimea as an ominous mushroom cloud sent bathers fleeing from nearby beaches

Shocked beachgoers watched on as the smoke began billowing from the direction of the base, before being instructed to evacuate by police officers

Shocked beachgoers watched on as the smoke began billowing from the direction of the base, before being instructed to evacuate by police officers

‘We’re talking about international terrorism actions,’ declared Korotchenko.

‘This man [Ben Wallace] must be responsible for his words and actions because he becoming like [Osama] Bin Laden.’

He surmised: ‘The scenario could be following.

‘As a part of the operation of the UK with Ukrainian special services an anti-ship missile launcher is installed on a bulk carrier under a neutral flag heading to Georgia.

‘When they pass the place where it is possible to attack the Crimean bridge, the navigation breaks and the ship disappears from surveillance systems.

‘It attacks the Crimean bridge, and then heads to Georgia.

‘On the way, all evidence is destroyed and the propaganda effect is achieved.

‘Of course, there is a reliable air defence system, but they hope to realise sabotage during the night-time or bad weather conditions.’

He went on: ‘It would be good to have an official reaction from the UK government.

‘And if necessary to conduct searches in the Ministry of Defence of the UK and withdraw documents. We see Trump being searched, let’s do some searches with Scotland Yard and other services,’ he said.

Russia is seeing a British hand almost everywhere.

Russian propagandists on the country's Channel 1 urged President Vladimir Putin to launch a nuclear strike against Britain, after Ben Wallace pledged more military aid to Ukraine

Russian propagandists on the country’s Channel 1 urged President Vladimir Putin to launch a nuclear strike against Britain, after Ben Wallace pledged more military aid to Ukraine

'Iron Doll' Olga Skabeeva

Reserve colonel Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of Russia's National Defence magazine

Putin’s ‘Iron Doll’ TV anchor Olga Skabeyeva (left) said Britain ‘wants to openly go to war with Russia.’ Reserve colonel Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of Russia’s National Defence magazine (right) said [Ben Wallace] must be responsible for his words and actions because he becoming like [Osama] Bin Laden’

Today Moscow’s occupying regime in Ukraine claimed Wallace’s forces are ‘in charge of shelling the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant’.

The British Defence Ministry had ‘sent its instructors to coordinate Ukrainian artillerymen. Officially these specialists have either gone AWOL or are on leave.’

Meanwhile, the figurehead of Putin’s propagandists Vladimir Solovyov also attacked Wallace while renewing his calls for Russia to unleash a nuclear attack on Britain.

‘The West continues to escalate tensions,’ he said. The British minister of defence [Ben Wallace] has proclaimed military bases in Crimea ‘a legitimate goal’.

‘Well, let’s be consistent. In reality, any goal in the territory of Russia is likely considered ‘legitimate’ by the British.

‘And he promised Kyiv regime twice more weapons. They were supplied three launchers, now they say they will supply three more.

‘[This is] a country the right size for a Sarmat [Satan-2 hypersonic missile] speculating about it,’ he said gravely. ‘One [Sarmat], not six variations of HIMARS [US supplied missile systems], but just one Sarmat.

‘And there will still be some of the warhead left. They think they can not only threaten great Russia but also think they will destroy it.’

This comes as Putin is poised to shake up his Black Sea Fleet by firing the admiral who lost the Moskva warship, say reports. The Kremlin leader was said to be ‘incandescent’ when Ukrainian missiles sank the cruiser in April.

But he is also seen as enraged with commanders who he sees as failing to bring him victory in his war with Ukraine.

The fleet in late June lost control over strategic Snake Island when it was retaken by Ukraine.

Admiral Igor Osipov, 49, vanished after the Moskva sinking, and reappeared two months later to scotch speculation he had been suspended or detained over the loss. The reason for his absence from public view was never explained.

British, New Zealand and Ukrainian soldiers are seen with a Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System as they conduct artillery training in the UK

British, New Zealand and Ukrainian soldiers are seen with a Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System as they conduct artillery training in the UK

Pictured: A Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) firing at Kirkcudbright Ranges

Pictured: A Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) firing at Kirkcudbright Ranges

Now, according to reports in Crimea, he is to be replaced by moderniser Vice Admiral Viktor Sokolov, 59, a former deputy commander of the Northern Fleet and head of Russia’s naval research centre.

Crimean publication ForPost – seen as having close links to the navy – said the fleet would be ‘strengthened’ by the appointment.

It cited three naval sources in Sevastopol, headquarters of the fleet.

‘The Russian Black Sea Fleet is waiting for a replacement of the command,’ said the report, while acknowledging no official announcement had been made.

Sokolov believes that a new Cold War has restarted rivalry between the great military fleets of the world.

Osipov boasted recently that his fleet’s ‘combat activity in the special military operation has made it possible to gain supremacy over the enemy in the Sea of Azov and establish control of the northwestern part of the Black Sea’.

However, he will always be remembered for the loss of the Moskva, sunk by Ukrainian Neptune missiles.

Osipov was conspicuous by his absence from Red Square on 9 May when Russia marked its annual Victory Day commemorating the end of the Second World War.

The fate of more than 250 more conscripts on the Moskva remains unclear.

The attack on Wallace came as he said Putin is now unlikely to succeed in occupying Ukraine while speaking at a conference in Copenhagen on Thursday.

The Defence Secretary said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had ‘faltered’ and was ‘starting to fail’, as he pledged more financial and military support to the eastern European nation’s defence.

Denmark joined the UK in offering more aid to Ukraine at the conference, co-hosted by Mr Wallace. He said it was important to understand that fighting and loss of life was still taking place, but added Russia was ‘starting to fail in many areas’.

Mr Wallace pictured as he speaks during after hosting a donor conference, together with Ukrainian and Danish defence ministers

Mr Wallace pictured as he speaks during after hosting a donor conference, together with Ukrainian and Danish defence ministers

Satellite pictures show Crimea airbase after blast that ‘destroyed up to 20 of Putin’s warplanes’

Startling new satellite images have showcased the extent of the damage at a Russian air force base in Crimea after devastating explosions ravaged the site on Tuesday afternoon.

The broken and charred remains of several Russian fighter jets can be seen in the aftermath of the blasts which are believed to have damaged up to 20 aircraft and demolished ammunition storage facilities.

The broken and charred remains of several Russian fighter jets at the air base

The broken and charred remains of several Russian fighter jets at the air base

Russia denied any aircraft were damaged in Tuesday’s blasts – or that any attack took place. 

More explosions were then reported last night at Zyabrovka airbase in the Homiel region of southern Belarus just 20 miles from the northern Ukrainian border, which has also been used by the Russian air force.

Again, officials tried to downplay the blasts – saying they were an accident caused by an aircraft engine fire.

But photos of the Saki base in Crimea published by US-based satellite imaging company Planet Labs PBC clearly showed at least seven fighter planes had been obliterated in what is widely thought to have been a Ukrainian strike.

Ukrainian officials stopped short of publicly claiming responsibility for the explosions, but confirmed at least nine planes had been destroyed and mocked Russia’s explanation that a careless smoker might have caused ammunition at the Saki air base to catch fire and blow up.

If Ukrainian forces were, in fact, responsible for the blasts, it would be the first known major attack on a Russian military site on the Crimean Peninsula, which the Kremlin annexed from Ukraine in 2014. 

He added: ‘They have failed so far and are unlikely to ever succeed in occupying Ukraine.

‘Their invasion has faltered and constantly been remodified to the extent they are really only focusing in parts of the south and in the east, a long, long way away from their three-day so-called special operation.

‘Three days are now over 150 days and nearly six months in, with huge significant losses of both equipment and indeed Russian personnel.’

The Defence Secretary also said: ‘President Putin will have gambled that come August, come a few months in, we will have all got bored of the conflict and the international community would have gone off in different directions. Well, today is proof of the opposite.

‘We have come out of this meeting with more pledges of finance, more pledges of training and more pledges of military aid, all designed to help Ukraine win, to help Ukraine stand up for its sovereignty and indeed to ensure that President Putin’s ambitions fail in Ukraine as they rightly should.’

Mr Wallace said allies will need to soon start buying in weapons from other countries or ‘placing orders in factories to increase ammo supply to Ukraine’ as their own reserve stocks are depleted.

The Ministry of Defence earlier confirmed it would send more weapons to Ukraine to help it defend against Russia’s invasion.

This included multiple-launch rocket systems, as well as precision guided missiles which can strike targets up to 50 miles away, designed to defend against Russian heavy artillery.

Mr Wallace said: ‘Our continued support sends a very clear message: Britain and the international community remain opposed to this illegal war and will stand shoulder-to-shoulder, providing defensive military aid to Ukraine to help them defend against Putin’s invasion.’

Ukrainian troops have been trained in the UK on how to use the launchers, and the UK has also committed to training 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers in infantry battlefield skills over the coming months.

Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands have all announced they will be supporting the programme.

The UK has previously supplied Ukraine with various weapons, including the NLAW anti-tank missile launcher, which was considered instrumental in the initial defence against Moscow’s invasion.

It comes as the International Fund for Ukraine has been expanded, with £250 million of the £1 billion total given by the UK to provide military equipment and other support to the armed forces.

This will ensure the provision of new weapons and the maintenance and repair of existing kit. 

Speaking earlier this week, when asked if the Crimean air base was a legitimate target for the Ukrainians to strike, Mr Wallace said: ‘First and foremost, Russia has illegally invaded, not just in 2014, but now Ukrainian territory.

‘Ukraine, under United Nations articles, is perfectly entitled to defend its territory and take what action it needs to against an invading force.

‘So, is it legitimate? It’s absolutely legitimate for Ukraine to take lethal force, if necessary, but take force in order to regain not only its territory, but also to push back its invader.

‘And that air force base has been used by Russian air forces to bomb Ukrainian targets. So I think in anybody’s sort of manual of war it would be a legitimate target.’ 

Ukraine trolls sobbing Russian tourists seen fleeing in terror after Crimea airbase blast with video advising them not to visit unless they want an ‘unpleasantly hot summer break’

By Chris Jewers for MailOnline 

Ukraine yesterday brutally trolled sobbing Russian tourists, seen fleeing in terror after huge explosions laid waste to an air base in Crimea, with a video advising them not to visit the peninsula unless they want an ‘unpleasantly hot summer break’.

Footage posted online earlier this week from the Russian occupied territory showed beachgoers running as huge mushroom clouds rose into the air in the distance.

The blasts – that have been credited to Ukraine’s special forces – hit the Novofedorivka base on Tuesday. The base is close to a beach popular with Russian tourists visiting the peninsula which was annexed by Vladimir Putin’s forces in 2014.

While authorities in Kyiv are yet to officially take credit for the attack, the video mocked the Kremlin’s claim that the explosions were the result of an accident on the base caused by a ‘violation of fire safety requirements.’

When posting the video to social media on Thursday, Ukraine’s defence ministry wrote: ‘Unless they want an unpleasantly hot summer break, we advise our valued Russian guests not to visit Ukrainian Crimea. Because no amount of sunscreen will protect them from the hazardous effects of smoking in unauthorised areas.’

Ukraine has today brutally trolled sobbing Russian tourists, seen fleeing in terror after huge explosions laid waste to an air base in Crimea, with a video advising them not to visit the peninsula unless they want an 'unpleasantly hot summer break'

Ukraine has today brutally trolled sobbing Russian tourists, seen fleeing in terror after huge explosions laid waste to an air base in Crimea, with a video advising them not to visit the peninsula unless they want an ‘unpleasantly hot summer break’

Text in the video (pictured) suggested alternative destinations to Russian tourists, including Dubai's 'Palm Jumeirah Beaches', 'Antalya Resorts' in Turkey and 'Cuban Cabanas'.

Text in the video (pictured) suggested alternative destinations to Russian tourists, including Dubai’s ‘Palm Jumeirah Beaches’, ‘Antalya Resorts’ in Turkey and ‘Cuban Cabanas’.

Instead, the video says, 'You chose Crimea. Big mistake.' In a stark contrast from the stunning images of the previously listed tourist destinations, the video suddenly shows the huge explosions that rocked Crimea on Tuesday

Instead, the video says, ‘You chose Crimea. Big mistake.’ In a stark contrast from the stunning images of the previously listed tourist destinations, the video suddenly shows the huge explosions that rocked Crimea on Tuesday

They 35-second video, created in the style of a tourism advert, addresses Russian tourists. ‘You had a few options this summer,’ bold purple text says.

The video then suggests alternative destinations, including Dubai’s ‘Palm Jumeirah Beaches’, ‘Antalya Resorts’ in Turkey and ‘Cuban Cabanas’.

Instead, the video says, ‘You chose Crimea. Big mistake.’ In a stark contrast from the stunning images of the previously listed tourist destinations, the video suddenly shows the huge explosions that rocked Crimea on Tuesday.

Pictured: Footage in Ukraine's Defence Ministry video shows the strikes on the airbase

Pictured: Footage in Ukraine’s Defence Ministry video shows the strikes on the airbase

One woman, who was filmed in floods of tears as she was driven away from Crimea this week after the attack, is also shown in the video. 'I don't want to leave Crimea, Alushta at all,' she tells the camera. 'How cool it is here'

One woman, who was filmed in floods of tears as she was driven away from Crimea this week after the attack, is also shown in the video. ‘I don’t want to leave Crimea, Alushta at all,’ she tells the camera. ‘How cool it is here’

When posting the video to social media on Thursday, Ukraine's defence ministry wrote: 'Unless they want an unpleasantly hot summer break, we advise our valued Russian guests not to visit Ukrainian Crimea. Because no amount of sunscreen will protect them from the hazardous effects of smoking in unauthorised areas'

When posting the video to social media on Thursday, Ukraine’s defence ministry wrote: ‘Unless they want an unpleasantly hot summer break, we advise our valued Russian guests not to visit Ukrainian Crimea. Because no amount of sunscreen will protect them from the hazardous effects of smoking in unauthorised areas’

It then shows footage of tourists fleeing a nearby beach as the blasts are seen in the distance, with the text again appearing on screen saying ‘Time to head home’.

One woman, who was filmed in floods of tears as she was driven away from Crimea this week after the attack, is also shown in the video. ‘I don’t want to leave Crimea, Alushta at all,’ she tells the camera. ‘How cool it is here’.

To add insult to injury, the video used Bananarama’s ‘Cruel Summer’ as a soundtrack.

The video ends with blue and yellow text – the colour of Ukraine’s flag – on screen saying ‘Crimea is Ukraine’.

Meanwhile, satellite pictures released on Thursday showed the devastation at the Russian air base, hit in the attack that suggests Kyiv may have obtained new long-range strike capability with potential to change the course of the war.

Pictures from independent satellite firm Planet Labs showed three near-identical craters where buildings at Russia’s Saki air base had been struck with apparent precision.

The base, on the southwest coast of Crimea, suffered extensive fire damage with the burnt-out husks of at least eight destroyed warplanes clearly visible.

Russia has denied aircraft were damaged and said explosions at the base on Tuesday were accidental. Ukraine has not publicly claimed responsibility for the attack or said exactly how it was carried out.

Huge explosions are seen in the background in Crimea as stunned civilians look on before jumping into their cars and fleeing

Huge explosions are seen in the background in Crimea as stunned civilians look on before jumping into their cars and fleeing

Satellite pictures released on Thursday showed the devastation at the Russian air base, hit in the attack that suggests Kyiv may have obtained new long-range strike capability with potential to change the course of the war. Pictured before (top) and after (bottom) the blasts

Satellite pictures released on Thursday showed the devastation at the Russian air base, hit in the attack that suggests Kyiv may have obtained new long-range strike capability with potential to change the course of the war. Pictured before (top) and after (bottom) the blasts

 

Won by conquest, given away as a ‘gift’, now occupied by force: Russia’s history in Crimea and the Black Sea

Prince Grigory Potemkin, who established the Black Sea Fleet in Crimea in 1783

Prince Grigory Potemkin, who established the Black Sea Fleet in Crimea in 1783

The Black Sea – and the Crimean peninsula which juts into it – are a strategic crossroads between Europe, the Middle East and Asia which has been contested by Empires and nations for centuries.

The sea itself contains vital trading routes, is bordered by five of Russia’s near-neighbours, and today hosts vital energy pipelines and fibre optic cables.

For Russia to assert power in the waters, control of Crimea – which contains its main Black Sea port at Sevastopol and controls the Kerch Strait leading to the nearby Sea of Azov – is essential. 

Crimea has, at one time or another, come under the control of the Greeks, Persians, Romans, Mongols, Ottomans.

It was not until 1783 that it fell fully under the control of the Russian Empire when Russian generals Alexander Suvorov and Mikhail Kamensky led a force of 8,000 men to victory against an Ottoman army of 40,000 at the the Battle of Kozludzha.

Russia’s Prince Grigory Potemkin quickly established the Russian Black Sea Fleet at the port of Sevastopol, from where he asserted naval power over the Black Sea, it neighbours including Georgia, Ukraine and Turkey, and projected power further into the Mediterranean.

Crimea also turned into a key trading post. On the eve of World War 1 in 1914 – some 50 per cent of all Russia’s exports and a full 90 per cent of its agricultural exports passed through Bosphorus Strait which leads out of the Black Sea. 

In 1954 Crimea was given as a ‘gift’ by Nikita Khrushchev to Ukraine, ostensibly to mark the 300th anniversary of Ukraine’s merger with Tsarist Russia, but more likely to secure Ukraine’s support for Khrushchev’s leadership and to cement Ukraine as part of the Soviet Union.

Because Ukraine was then part of the Union, Moscow maintained control over Crimea and its vital ports – at least until 1991 when the union collapsed and Ukraine became and independent county.

Following Ukraine’s independence, access to the peninsula became a bargaining chip between the two nations, with Ukraine recognising Russia’s right to the port at Sevastopol in return for concessions such as writing off debts and taking control of part of the Black Sea fleet.

But in 2014, the pro-Moscow government of Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown in a popular uprising that wanted to draw the country closer to Europe.

Fearing the loss of the port at Sevastopol, Putin marched troops into Crimea and seized control of it – later holding a ‘referendum’ which showed majority support for the region to become part of Russia, though the result is viewed as far from credible.

Today, Moscow is in control of the peninsula and refers to it as part of its territory, though most world bodies refer to the region as ‘occupied Crimea’.

The Black Sea Fleet remains one of Russia’s largest, believed to be comprised of close to 50 ships, seven submarines and 25,000 troops, mostly marines.

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