Arally recently held in Moscow saw attendees and leaders calling for Russian President Vladimir Putin to launch a nuclear strike against Washington, D.C.
Above, a shot of an ICBM being wheeled through Moscow during a Russian military parade. A recent rally in Moscow saw citizens calling for Russia to launch nuclear attacks on Washington, D.C.© Yuri Kadobnov/AFP via Getty Images
A clip from the rally was shared to Twitter on Saturday morning by Julia Davis, creator of the Russian Media Monitor and columnist for The Daily Beast. In the video, a man can be seen leading a crowd of people through the streets of Moscow and through chants calling for attacks on Washington.
“Strike the decision-making centers,” the man leading the crowd shouts. “On Washington! A flight task for the Sarmat missile. On Washington! Sarmat, strike the enemy’s cities. On Washington!…U.S.A. is the enemy! We will go to heaven as martyrs. They will simply croak.”
The Sarmat missile referred to during the rally is the RS-28 Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), a thermonuclear weapon added to Russia’s arsenal in 2018 and nicknamed the “Satan II.”
As Davis wrote in her tweet, the rally-goers’ “we will go to heaven as martyrs” statement is in reference to comments made by Putin in 2018. Despite the rally calling for action, the comments they referenced saw Putin pledge that Russia would respond to any nuclear attack against it, but would never be the first to strike in such a way. The comments came not long after Russia introduced its expanded nuclear arsenal, which included the Satan II missile.
“An aggressor should know that vengeance is inevitable, that he will be annihilated, and we would be the victims of the aggression,” Putin said at the time, according to The Moscow Times. “We will go to heaven as martyrs, and they will just drop dead. They will not even have time to repent for this.”
A report last week from the Russian Military Thought magazine claimed that the United States is working on plans to neutralize significant portions of Russia’s nuclear stockpile before the nation is able to launch a strike. This plan would involve the use of non-nuclear arms on the part of the U.S., with the report stating that “the United States seeks to possess strategic non-nuclear weapons with a short flight time to the target” that are not subject “to any bilateral or international restrictions.”
Meanwhile, Ukraine continues to prepare for the mounting possibility that Russia will deploy nuclear weapons against it in the face of its continually beleaguered invasion. On Tuesday, the country’s military engaged in drills to prepare for the possibility of a nuclear attack, with exercises focused on preparing “to eliminate the consequences of a nuclear strike.”
Newsweek reached out to the Department of Defense for comment.