Russian State T.V. just broadcasted a list of U.S. military facilities that Moscow would target in the event of a nuclear strike and is claiming that a hyper-sonic missile Russia is developing could hit anywhere in the United States in less than five minutes.
The potential targets include the Pentagon, Fort Richie, Jim Creek, McClellan, and the presidential retreat in Camp David, Maryland.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow was militarily ready for a “Cuban missile-style” crisis if the US wanted one. Even with tensions rising over the possibility that the US might deploy intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe, this latest threat is unusual, even by Russian State TV standards.
In the Sunday evening broadcast, Dmitry Kiselyov, presenter of Russia’s main weekly TV news show ‘Vesti Nedeli,’ showed a map of the United States and identified multiple strike targets that Moscow would want to hit in the event of a nuclear war.
The targets, which Kiselyov described as U.S. presidential or military command centers, also included Fort Ritchie, a military training center in Maryland closed in 1998, McClellan, a U.S. Air Force base in California closed in 2001, and Jim Creek, a naval communications base in Washington state.
Kiselyov, who is close to the Kremlin, said the “Tsirkon” (‘Zircon’) hypersonic missile that Russia is developing could hit the targets in less than five minutes if launched from Russian submarines.
“For now, we’re not threatening anyone, but if such a deployment takes place, our response will be instant,” he said.
His threats came after the Trump administration terminated the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
The 1987 INF treaty marked the first time the U.S. and Russia agreed to decrease their nuclear arsenals. But in 2014, The United States alleged in its July 2014 Compliance Report that Russia violated its INF Treaty obligations “not to possess, produce, or flight-test” a ground-launched cruise missile having a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers or “to possess or produce launchers of such missiles.”
Earlier this month, The Trump administration released a statement on the INF treaty saying, “For far too long, Russia has violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with impunity, covertly developing and fielding a prohibited missile system that poses a direct threat to our allies and troops abroad.” The U.S. will “suspend its obligations under the INF Treaty and begin the process of withdrawing from the INF Treaty, which will be completed in 6 months unless Russia comes back into compliance by destroying all of its violating missiles, launchers, and associated equipment. Our NATO Allies fully support us, because they understand the threat posed by Russia’s violation and the risks to arms control posed by ignoring treaty violations.”
Trump’s decision to terminate the treaty follows a years-long U.S.-Russian dispute over whether Moscow has developed and deployed a prohibited missile, known as the Novator 9M729. Recently, China, which is not a party to the INF Treaty, has also started to flex their militarymuscle in East Asia by deploying a large number of treaty-noncompliant missiles.
Last year, President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia had developed and tested an array of new generation strategic nuclear weapons that can’t be intercepted. He claimed that this new generation of Russian ICBMs could evade missile defense systems and carry a greater payload than Soviet-era weapons.
During his annual address, a video played in the background that showed a variety of new weaponry including undetectable, underwater drones.
In early February, the trump administration released a statement saying, “We will move forward with developing our own military response options and will work with NATO and our other allies and partners to deny Russia any military advantage from its unlawful conduct.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that this could lead to a new arms race and said that any nation that hosts U.S. intermediate-range missiles would “put their own territory under the threat of a possible counterstrike.”
The Whitehouse says it has no immediate plans to deploy intermediate-range missiles in Europe and says Putin’s warnings are nothing more than disingenuous propaganda. When asked by Reuters to comment on Kiselyov’s report, the Kremlin said on Monday it did not interfere in state TV’s editorial policy.