Russian TV lists targets in potential nuclear war with US
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Russian TV lists targets in potential nuclear war with US

Dmitry Kiselyov, the host of Russia’s main weekly TV news show, on Sunday broadcast a map of the US and specified several targets that he said Moscow could strike in the event of a nuclear war. Among the targets that he named were the Pentagon and Camp David, which he said Russia could hit in “less than five minutes.” He also named Fort Ritchie, a Maryland military training center that was reportedly closed in 1998, and McClellan, a US Air Force base in California that has not been in use since 2001, according to reports. The broadcast came amid rising tensions between Moscow and Washington over US President Donald Trump’s plans to pull out of a landmark Cold War-era nuclear arms control treaty with Russia. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on February 1 that Washington would suspend the INF for 180 days and would fully withdraw from it later if Moscow did not stop what he called “violations” of the treaty, a move which prompted Moscow to give a tit-for-tat response. The INF was signed toward the end of the Cold War, in 1987, by the then US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Under the treaty, both sides were banned from creating ground-launch nuclear missiles with ranges from 500 to 5,500 kilometers. The pact also banned the sides from deploying short and intermediate-range, land-based missiles in Europe. Washington claims that Russia’s new 9M729 missile is in violation of the treaty and should be dismantled. Russia rebutted the claim last month by unveiling the missile and its key specifications. Major General Mikhail Matveevsky, the Russian chief of missile and artillery troops, said the missile’s maximum range was about 480 kilometers, well within what is allowed under the INF. On Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin warned that if the US chose to deploy intermediate-range missiles in Europe, Moscow would be fine with another Cuban missile crisis. The Cuban missile crisis broke out in 1962, when Moscow responded to a US missile deployment in Turkey by sending ballistic missiles to Cuba, sparking a standoff that brought the world to the brink of a nuclear war. Putin added that Russia could deploy hypersonic missiles on ships and submarines that could lurk outside US territorial waters if Washington proceeded with the deployment plan. The Russian TV host, who is known for close ties to the Kremlin, said the “Tsirkon” (Zircon) hypersonic missile that Russia is developing could reach the targets in less than five minutes if fired from Russian submarines. “For now, we’re not threatening anyone, but if such a [US] deployment takes place [in Europe], our response will be instant,” he said.

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