The brave defenders of Ukrainian Mariupol who remained in the Azovstal steelworks attracted the attention of the world, because they refused to surrender to the invading Russian troops. Meanwhile, Kremlin-controlled state media reveals that Russia’s attention is not fixed on Ukraine, with the whole world in Putin’s sights.
Azovstal, which occupies four square miles and has a vast underground structure, was being bombarded and facing artillery attacks, when Putin abruptly “cancelled” plans to storm the factory, ordering his forces to simply block it. State media coverage provided some clues as to what might have prompted Putin’s decision.
On Friday, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov alleged: “The rest of the Ukrainian nationalists of the Azov regiment… as well as foreign mercenaries from the United States and European countries, are safely blocked in the territory of the Azovstal plant.” A day earlier, state television pundits explained how that belief may have played a role in Putin’s decision to stop the bombardment of a besieged steel plant.
Appearing on a state television show 60 minutes On Thursday evening, military expert and retired colonel Yury Knutov opined that Azovstal is hiding secrets of global significance. He speculated that their unveiling would cause a ripple effect, including the possibility of impacting the re-election of French President Emmanuel Macron. His challenger, Marine Le Pen, has long been championed by Russian state media as the Kremlin’s preferred candidate. Even imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny take a step in the French presidential battle via Twitter, urging French voters to support Macron and reject Le Pen, who is too closely tied to Russia.
During the broadcast of 60 minutesKnutov claimed: “Many experts say that probably, apart from members of Azov and the Ukrainian Armed Forces, NATO advisers are there [at Azovstal]— and of a very high standard. And if they end up in the hands of the Russian army, it will cause an international scandal and have major political implications inside the NATO countries. The political leaders, the leaders of the NATO countries, claimed that none of their advisers were there and that NATO had nothing to do with it, except to provide secondary aid by sending weapons. Suddenly, if that turns out to be a lie, Macron could be defeated in his election. A number of other politicians could be forced to resign.
Host Evgeny Popov, who is also a member of the Russian State Duma, weighed in: “For him [Macron] to lose in the election, we need to get these people out of NATO – especially the French – within the next two days.
Knutov said destroying Azovstal by shelling would not be difficult, but it would deprive Russia of an opportunity to identify those who remain there. Therefore, Putin’s idea of a blockade was more likely to reveal the secrets of the steel plant. Knutov predicted that within a week or less, the current residents of Azovstal would emerge and surrender, as they would be forced to starve and suffer from lack of water.
Speaking about the Kremlin’s intention to overtake the entire Donbass region, Knutov pointed out that according to the Pentagon, Russia should rely on the same tactics it implemented in Syria. Knutov ominously predicted: “It is said that new tactics will be implemented…our tactics developed in Syria have proven themselves. Maybe something new will also be used, I’m not ready to talk about it and reveal it. He later added: “We have reached the stage where, I believe, NATO has become directly involved in this military conflict. We can already talk not only about the special military operation of our army on the territory of Ukraine, but about the NATO war against Russia on the territory of Ukraine. This is where we are now. »
Co-host of 60 mins, Olga Skabeeva, pointed out that the release of people from the Azovstal steel plant was demanded by a host of Western officials, including German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs of the United United Victoria Nuland and United Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Dismissing the idea that these politicians are worried about freeing civilians allegedly trapped in Azovstal with members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Skabeeva concluded: “They want to free people from the catacombs, which means there is very, very special people – very valuable people there.
State media promotes idea that the Kremlin’s offensive in Ukraine has stalled because Russian troops are fighting not just local troops, but “the whole of NATO.” As Russia’s losses mount rapidly, so do the explicit threats of retaliation, voiced by the Kremlin’s most prominent spokespersons. On state television, watched by millions, hosts and pundits regularly laugh about the possibility of destroying Western cities with nuclear strikes.
When he appeared on 60 minutes, State Duma deputy Andrey Isaev complained about the recent statement by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, which he quoted as saying: “In the event of the use of weapons of destruction massive, the United Kingdom reserves the right to retaliate by its own means, without consulting the other NATO countries. Furious, Isaev retorted: “We can also carry out a nuclear strike against Great Britain without consulting NATO. Great Britain is an excellent target in this sense. Mocking the garland adorning Johnson’s neck during his recent trip to India, Isaev said: “The noose that was placed around Mr Johnson’s neck during his trip to India suits him well.”
The inflammatory rhetoric on state television, often seen as a reflection of the prevailing mood in the Kremlin, has become increasingly belligerent. On Tuesday’s broadcast of The evening with Vladimir Solovyov, host Vladimir Solovyov tried to dissuade NATO countries from helping Ukrainians in their self-defense against Russian aggression. He went on to accuse Western countries of secretly sending their agents to fight in Ukraine, stating that they will be destroyed with weapons provided by the West.
Solovyov threatens“De facto, we are starting to wage war on the NATO countries. We will crush the NATO war machine, as well as the citizens of NATO countries. When this operation is over, NATO will have to ask itself: “Do we have what we need to defend ourselves?” Do we have enough people to defend ourselves? Soloviev believed that not only Ukraine will have to be “denazified”, which means that Russia will continue to march through Europe. He added ominously: “And there will be no mercy. There will be no pity.