Kremlin Flacks Tease Next ‘Global’ Targets of Putin’s Wrath

Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty

Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, whose short-lived mutiny against the Kremlin made global headlines in June, reappeared in Africa on Monday with a brief video message. In it, he claimed that Wagner is “making Russia even greater on all continents, and making Africa even more free. We bring justice and happiness to the African people.”

The mercenary boss’ return coincided with the emergence of a new campaign on Russian state media programs, where pro-Kremlin pundits and lawmakers have been pushing for Russian President Vladimir Putin to “go global” with his “special military operation” in Ukraine.

During his Monday appearance on 60 Minutes, State Duma member Andrey Gurulyov declared that “Today, the whole world is a special military operation!” Throughout the segment, the lawmaker and other panelists claimed that Russia is not interested in peace accords—a view that is frequently echoed on many pro-government TV and radio programs.

Referring to recent comments by General Mark Milley—the U.S.’s highest-ranking military officer, who recently suggested that a peace deal might be one of the ways of ending Russia’s invasion of Ukraine—Korotchenko stressed: “General Milley included diplomacy as one of the options, meaning the signing of a peace deal on conditions that are not acceptable to Russia: return to the borders of 1991 and reparations that will have to be paid by generations of Russians to the Kyiv regime. Would this option suit us? I think not.”

Instead, according to the Putin loyalists, the Kremlin intends to expand its horizons far beyond Ukraine, undermining and confronting the West at every turn. Gurulyov laid out what he sees as the Kremlin’s potential course of action—not just in Ukraine, but across the world.

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“I would like to turn our attention to the Asia-Pacific region. The issue of Taiwan is there, it isn’t going to disappear. Americans said they will first contain China and then North Korea, but now they’re in a situation where they have to contain both!” he said. “Based on the statements made by North Koreans, including the ones they made here, nuclear war is inevitable—it’s only a matter of who and where will start it! It’s crystal clear that if a conflict starts, the United States will get involved… This will 100 percent include the sinking of the US Navy in the Pacific Ocean. There is no other way! This is an achievable goal, even if China acts alone.”

For the Russian politician, there was no question about which side Russia would take in the impending global crises.

“Of course, North Korea’s goal is the unification with South Korea and the disappearance of the border that separates one people. People ask, ‘What if they lose? What is our part in this situation?’ For us, it’s not acceptable for the North Koreans to lose. Otherwise, NATO forces will be stationed across from our Vladivostok!” he said. “For us, there is no other option but to get prepared for the challenges that are happening in the Asia-Pacific region. These challenges are already happening, we should be preparing today, right now and figuring out how to solve this problem!”

During his appearance, the lawmaker claimed that Russia’s Pacific Fleet is “actively preparing” for such a conflict—and predicted that the “the first strike will be against the oldest enemy of Koreans, Japan, accompanied by supportive hooting from South Korea.”

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Citing the recent coup in Niger, Gurulyov said Russia’s position was “crystal clear.”

“We’re with those who fight against colonialism,” he said, emphasizing that Russia’s special military operation is global and not limited to Ukraine. “Here you have all of the elements of World War III that are currently emerging. I’m not even mentioning the Persian problem, the threats in the Arctic and Afghanistan. We should be ready to deal with all of these challenges.”

On Tuesday, Marina Kim, one of the hosts of Russia’s Channel 1, appeared on Vladimir Solovyov’s show Full Contact, where she talked about her role in the soon to be released TV project, The New World. Kim said it would be aimed at forecasting what the new world order will look like in the coming decades, considering Russia’ efforts to undermine the U.S. dollar as a currency and Western influence as a whole. Arguing that Russian experts are so highly intellectual that they know more about China than the Chinese, Kim noted that even those superb intellectuals are not sure what the map of the world will look like in 2073.

Solovyov, who frequently threatens the West with nuclear strikes, asked an uncharacteristically sobering question: “Will Russia even exist in the future?” Kim cheerfully assured him that Russia’s destiny is to keep leading the world—but acknowledged that it can do so only in concert with China.

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