The same day that Crimea voted to secede from Ukraine and become a part of Russia, a Russian news anchor on Russian state television made a ridiculous comment, saying that Russia could turn the United States into “Radioactive ash.” He made the statement, claiming that Obama and the United States live in fear of Russia since the outbreak of the unrest in Ukraine.
A leading anchor on Russian state television on Sunday described Russia as the only country capable of turning the United States into “radioactive ash”, in an incendiary comment at the height of tensions over the Crimea referendum.
“Russia is the only country in the world realistically capable of turning the United States into radioactive ash,” anchor Dmitry Kiselyov said on his weekly news show on state-controlled Rossiya 1 television.
Kiselyov made the comment to support his argument that the United States and President Barack Obama were living in fear of Russia led by President Vladimir Putin amid the Ukraine crisis.
His programme was broadcast as the first exit polls were being published showing an overwhelming majority of Crimeans voting to leave Ukraine and join Russia.
He stood in his studio in front of a gigantic image of a mushroom cloud produced after a nuclear attack, with the words “into radioactive ash”.
“Americans themselves consider Putin to be a stronger leader than Obama,” he added, pointing to opinion polls which then popped up on the screen.
“Why is Obama phoning Putin all the time and talking to him for hours on end?” he asked.
Kiselyov has earned a reputation as one of Russia’s most provocative television news hosts, in particularly with his often blatantly homophobic remarks.
But he is also hugely influential with his weekly news show broadcast at Sunday evening prime time.
Putin last year appointed Kiselyov head of the new Russia Today news agency that is to replace the soon to be liquidated RIA Novosti news agency with the aim of better promoting Russia’s official position.