Dmitry Peskov, spokesperson for the Kremlin, made several controversial statements regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in a live CNN broadcast with Christiane Amanpour, stating that Russia can use nuclear arms in case of an existential threat.
The broadcast started with a question asking what Putin had achieved in Ukraine so far, addressing the low morale among the Russian troops, logistical problems and the international backlash. Peskov answered the question saying “He hasn’t achieved [his objectives] yet, we are talking about a special military operation, which is going in accordance with the plans,” and he blamed the western media for being one-sided.
It was noteworthy that Peskov did not use the word ‘war’ when addressing the invasion of Ukraine, like the Russian President Vladimir Putin, he preferred to use the term ‘special military operation’.
Peskov continued explaining Russia’s goals within Ukraine under three main headings.
The first goal of the ‘special military operation’ is “to get rid of the military potential of the Ukraine,” said the spokesperson. He added saying “Our military is only targeting the military goals and objects in the territory of the Ukraine, not civilian targets.”
He continued, explaining that the second goal of the operation is to ensure that Ukraine changes their anti-Russian policy, to become a completely ‘neutral’ country.
He said that the third goal of the operation is to “get rid of the nationalist battalions in Ukraine”, blaming the far-right nationalist Azov troops for the civilian casualties, claiming that they are using the civilians as human shields.
Christiane Amanpour continued the interview reminding Peskov of the Russian Defence Minister’s words on the siege of Mariupol, where he stated that the civilians in Mariupol will only be allowed access to food, water and basic amenities if they surrender, and asked if the captured civilians are being sent to Russia to work?
Dimitry Peskov denied the allegations saying simply that they are ‘fake’.
‘Nuclear arms can be used under an existential threat’
The interview came round to the topic of the possible use of nuclear arms by Russia, which Dimitry Peskov answered saying, “We have a concept of domestic security. It is public, there you can find reasons for the possible use of nuclear arms. Nuclear arms can be used if there is an existential threat to our country. There are no other reasons written.”