Pro-Putin TV presenter Vladimir Solovyov has spoken about the next stage of the conflict in Ukraine leading toward a war “against Europe and the world” during his show on state-run channel Russia-1.
“I believe the special military operation is entering a new stage,” said the Russian journalist, talking to six guests on his show, Evening with Vladimir Solovyov, in a video widely shared on Thursday.
“Ukrainians alone are no longer enough. Now they’re talking about NATO countries supplying de facto their own weapons,” he said in a monologue. “We’ll see not only NATO weapons being drawn into this, but also their operators.”
“De facto we’re starting to wage war against NATO countries. We’ll be grinding up NATO’s war machine as well as citizens of NATO countries,” Solovyov said.
“When this operation concludes, NATO will have to ask itself: ‘Do we have what we need to defend ourselves? Do we have the people to defend ourselves?’ And there will be no mercy. There will be no mercy,” he said.
“Not only will Ukraine have to be denazified; the war against Europe and the world is developing a more specific outline, which means we’ll have to act differently, and to act much more harshly,” Solovyov concluded in the clip shared on Twitter by former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt, now co-chair of the European Council on Foreign Relations.
And now 🇷🇺 state TV talks about “war against Europe and the world” once the operation against 🇺🇦 has been concluded. Without mercy. pic.twitter.com/faBjJy7U1t
— Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) April 21, 2022
Solovyov, 58, is widely considered one of the main supporters of President Vladimir Putin on Russian TV. He has backed Putin through the annexation of Crimea in 2014, while condemning Western support for Kyiv.
Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Solovyov has stuck to Moscow’s line that the war is a “special military operation” aimed at “denazifying” Ukraine and liberating the Donbas.
When evidence emerged of Russia’s suspected extrajudicial killings in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, Solovyov made the nonsensical statement that “the massacre of Bucha is the work of British specialists because the words ‘Bucha’ and ‘butcher’ sound similar.”
But his words on a global conflict are hard to ignore, and somehow echo what Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been repeating since the beginning of the war in Ukraine: you’re next.