At a recent rally in Moscow, participants and leaders called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to launch a nuclear strike against Washington, D.C.
A clip from the rally was shared on 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.
“Hit the centers of decision-making,” shouts the man leading the crowd. “On Washington! A flying task for the Sarmat missile. On Washington! Sarmat, strike the enemy cities. On Washington! … The United States is the enemy! We will go to heaven as martyrs. They will simply croak. “
The Sarmat missile discussed at 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 his tweet, the rally attendees’ statement “we will go to heaven as martyrs” references Putin’s comments in 2018. Despite the rally calling for action, the comments they made reference saw Putin committing Russia to respond to any nuclear attack against him, but would never be the first to strike in this way. The comments came shortly after Russia showcased its expanded nuclear arsenal, which included the Satan II missile.
“An aggressor should know that revenge is inevitable, that he will be annihilated and that we will be the victims of aggression,” Putin said at the time, according to Moscow time. “We will go to heaven as martyrs, and they will drop dead. They won’t even have time to repent for it.”
A report last week from the Russian military thought The magazine claimed that the United States was working on plans to neutralize significant parts of Russia’s nuclear stockpile before the nation was able to launch a strike. This plan would involve the use of non-nuclear weapons by the United States, with the report stating that “the United States seeks to possess strategic non-nuclear weapons with a short time of flight to the target” which are not subject “to any bilateral or international restrictions.”
Meanwhile, Ukraine continues to prepare for the growing possibility of Russia deploying 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 drills focusing on readiness “to eliminate the consequences of a nuclear strike”.
Newsweek contacted the Department of Defense for comment.