- Russian propagandist Sergey Mardan said that his country would not exist without nuclear bombs.
- Mardan also said Russia should have made more warplanes and tanks in the past 20 years.
- It comes as Putin announced plans to station tactical nuclear weapons in neighbouring Belarus.
A Russian propagandist has said that his country would not exist without nuclear bombs.
Sergey Mardan, a pro-Putin television and radio host, made the remarks during a television segment that was shared on Twitter with English subtitles by Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to Ukraine’s minister of internal affairs.
“What do you think makes Russia- Russia? What provides its existence and integrity? – a nuclear bomb, says propagandist Mardan, thanking the ancestors,” Gerashchenko wrote alongside the clip.
“By the way, it is actually interesting to look at Russia and its future without the nuclear bomb.”
In the clip, Mardan said: “Our ancestors took care of us, they did not leave us without a nuclear bomb. And if they did, there would be no Russian Federation, there would not be.”
He went on to say that it is neither good or bad, but “a given.”
“This is a fact,” he said. “What does this fact imply? This fact suggests that the past 20 years should have been spent differently.
“We should have made more warplanes and tanks and artillery systems, of course, several times over. But as you know, history never teaches anyone anything and neither do we.”
Mardan last month praised North Korea for threatening to use nuclear weapons against the United States.
“They all turned back and knew he [Kim Jong-un] wasn’t lying—that he really would…whack them with a nuclear bomb. You can’t mess around at all,” he said. “And the thing is that this is exactly how most of our country thinks. They agree with this approach, and they’re not prepared to make any compromises,”
Mardan’s latest comments come as Russian President Vladimir Putin announced plans to station tactical nuclear weapons in neighbouring Belarus, which Russia used as a staging ground before launching its full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
Putin on Saturday said the move was prompted by the United Kingdom’s decision to provide Ukraine with armor-piercing rounds containing depleted uranium.
He said Russia was following the lead of the U.S., which has “long deployed their tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of their allied countries.”
The move prompted condemnation, with a top security adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky saying Belarus had been taken “hostage” by Moscow.
Putin’s actions would be “a step towards internal destabilization of the country,” Oleksiy Danilov wrote on Twitter on Sunday.
Danilov said it maximizes what he called the level of “negative perception and public rejection” of Russia and Putin in Belarusian society. “The [Kremlin] took Belarus as a nuclear hostage,” he added.
Newsweek reached out to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for comment via email.