World

Russian TV Warns Of Nuclear War Amid U.S. Tensions

| by Sarah Zimmerman
Nuclear weapon launch siteNuclear weapon launch site

In a chilling repeat of the height of the nuclear arms race in the 1950s, Russian television programs are telling citizens to prepare themselves for an all-out nuclear war with the United States. 

"If it should one day happen, every one of you should know where the nearest bomb shelter is. It's best to find out now," said one reporter for the Russian state-owned television channel, NTV, according to ABC.

The anti-American propaganda in Russia appears to be reaching new highs and could have devastating effects on foreign relations between the U.S. and Russia. 

One of Russia's most popular current affairs shows, hosted by Evgeny Kiselyov, who critics refer to as the country's "propagandist-in-chief," has been fueling nationalist fervor and pitting Russian citizens against the U.S.

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"We've had it with American abuse over Syria," Kiselyov said on one episode, according to ABC. The U.S.'s "impudent behavior" toward Russia means that this conflict will be sure to take on "nuclear dimensions" in the near future. 

Kiselyov refers to the two countries' disagreement over how to best combat ISIS, according to the New York Times. While Russia wants to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his fight against the rebel armies, the U.S. wants to instead arm the rebels to topple Assad's regime. 

Close ally to Putin and veteran lawmaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky tells Reuters that a nuclear war between the two countries is inevitable unless Republican nominee Donald Trump is elected president in November. To him, Trump is the only candidate willing to de-escalate U.S.-Russia tensions over Syria. 

Trump has been consistently criticized by politicians and media outlets for his alleged warm stance toward Russia. The Washington Post reports that Trump wants to have stronger foreign relations with the country and has consistently offered words of praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying it was an "honor" to be called "colorful and talented" by Putin.

But, Russian nationalists like Zhirinovsky say that Trump's plans to have closer ties with Russia would actually be beneficial and even prevent the possibility of World War III. 

"Americans voting for a president on Nov. 8 must realize that they are voting for peace on Planet Earth if they vote for Trump," said Zhirinovsky to Reuters. "But if they vote for Hillary it's war. It will be a short movie. There will be Hiroshimas and Nagasakis everywhere."

Sources: ABC, Reuters, The Washington Post, The New York Times / Photo Credit: Clay Gilliland/Flickr

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