Russian state TV shows clips simulating Ireland being wiped out by nuclear weapons

Putin associate speaks of attacks on ‘British Isles’ amid UK support for Ukraine

Russian state TV shows clips simulating Ireland being wiped out by nuclear weapons.

Russian state television has broadcast mocked-up clips of nuclear weapons destroying Ireland in response to the UK's support for Ukraine amid the ongoing war there.

The clips were broadcast by the state-owned television channel Russia-1 and introduced by Dmitry Kiselyov, a close associate of Russian president Vladimir Putin and who is perceived as a propagandist for the Kremlin. Russia-1 is the most widely watched television channel in Russia.

Ireland is not mentioned directly in either of the two clips. In one segment, Mr Kiselyov speaks of an attack on the “British Isles” as footage plays of the islands of Ireland and Britain being wiped off the map by a nuclear weapon.

"It actually seems like they're raving on the British Isles," Mr Kiselyov says, after baselessly claiming UK prime minister Boris Johnson had threatened a nuclear strike on Russia.


"Why threaten neverending Russia when you're on an island which is, you know, is so small?" he says, according to a translation from journalist Francis Scarr, who monitors Russian media for the BBC.

“The island is so small that just one Sarmat missile is sufficient to sink it once and for all. Everything has been calculated already,” he claims, as a graphic shows a blast erasing Ireland and Britain from the map.

In a second segment, Mr Kiselyov talks of using a Poseidon nuclear underwater drone, an experimental Russian weapon, to “plunge the British Isles into the depths of the sea”.

“It approaches its target at a depth of 1km at a speed of 200km/h. There’s no way of stopping this underwater drone,” he tells viewers.

“The warhead has a yield of up to 100 megatons and will cause a gigantic tidal wave up to 500m high. Such a barrage alone also carries extreme doses of radiation,” he claims.

A computer graphic shows the missile exploding off the northeast coast of Co Donegal, setting off a tidal wave that wipes both islands from the map.

The radiation from the blast will turn whatever is left of the British Isles into a “radioactive desert”, he concludes.

The clips form part of one of several recent broadcasts threatening nuclear attack on the UK in retaliation for its support of Ukraine, which Moscow invaded on February 24th.

Speaking on the Sarmat missile last March, Prof Malcolm Chalmers from the Royal United Services Institute, a British defence and security think tank, said a single missile armed with 10 warheads could target areas as large as Texas or France, potentially killing millions of people. However, "most inhabitants of either territory would be outside the blast and fallout radius, as would many towns and cities", he said.


Fianna Fáil MEP for Ireland South Billy Kelleher said the Government should summon Russia's ambassador to the State, Yury Filatov, to inform him about "our absolute disgust about the [Russian] broadcast".

“It’s a threat advocating violence against Ireland and that’s completely unacceptable. It’s quite disgusting,” he said.

“I wouldn’t regard it as a threat against Ireland really, no. It’s standard bellicose language you see on state-controlled media. It’s not completely clear he’s aware Ireland is a separate country,” a diplomatic source said.

“But the audience for this isn’t Irish or British people. It’s internal propaganda for Russian people. But it does, I suppose, highlight the unfortunate fact that if the UK was subject to a nuclear attack, unlikely as that is, Ireland would almost certainly be caught up in it.”

Mr Kiselyov, who is on an EU sanctions list, has a long history of making bellicose comments and spreading conspiracy theories on air. His weekly show, News of the Week, is viewed as a vehicle of Kremlin propaganda.

In 2013, he was picked by Mr Putin to head Rossiya Segodnya, the Russian state-owned media group.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has been asked for comment.– Additional reporting: Reuters

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher is Crime and Security Correspondent of The Irish Times