Putin ally suggests missile strike on iconic American landmark

Vladimir Solovyov, media personality and ally to Russian President Vladimir Putin, recently suggested that Moscow launch a missile strike at the torch of the Statue of Liberty in New York City.

Amid Moscow’s ongoing full-scale invasion of Ukraine that Putin launched in February 2022, Solovyov has been a source of Russian propaganda. He has talked about Russia expanding its war, claiming that the country owns Ukraine and even parts of Europe like Poland and Finland.

In a recent episode of his show, Solovyov and his fellow panelists talked about sending missiles over the United States and Europe.

“I suggest launching a hypersonic missile across the continental U.S., but not at the U.S. Let it fly over it,” Russian political scientist Dmitry Evstafiev said, according to a clip of the show translated and posted to X, formerly Twitter, on Saturday by Anton Gerashchenko, former adviser in Ukraine’s internal affairs ministry.

“But knock out the torch at the Statue of Liberty, huh?” Solovyov said with laughter. “That’s a little over the top, Evstafiev replied. “How about launching it from the Atlantic to the Pacific, as a test, and see what happens?”

Dmitry Kulikov, another Russian political scientist, chimed in with his own idea.

“We usually launch missiles from west to east. We could do it the other way around. It’s launched, and it flies west. It files over Europe,” he said.

Newsweek has reached out to the Russian government via online form and the U.S. Department of State via email for comment.

Russian propagandist Vladimir Solovyov is seen on February 21, 2023, in Moscow. Solovyov recently suggested that Moscow launch a missile strike at the torch of the Statue of Liberty in New York City.

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The U.S. and most of Europe are a part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). If Russia were to go after just one of the 32 member states, then he would risk war with all of them, according to Article 5 of the military alliance’s treaty. However, Putin said in December 2023 that Moscow has “no interest” in fighting NATO.

While Russian propagandists theorize over how Moscow can intimidate Western forces, NATO has shown its strength through its largest military exercise since the Cold War. Since January, over 90,000 troops from all member states have participated in Steadfast Defender 24 to demonstrates “NATO’s ability to defend every inch of its territory, and the commitment by NATO Allies to protect each other from any threat.”

Peace Talks?

Putin is ready for a ceasefire in the Russia-Ukraine war that recognizes the current battlefield lines, according to four Russian sources who spoke with Reuters. Russian forces, meanwhile, have made advances in northeastern Ukraine in recent weeks.

The Russian leader encouraged peace negations with Ukraine on Friday, saying at a news conference in Belarus, “Let them resume.”

However, Ukraine’s Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba claimed that this is just a desperate attempt to derail a peace summit that Switzerland is hosting at the request of Ukraine next month. The summit will focus on how to bring an end to the Russia-Ukraine war.

“Putin currently has no desire to end his aggression against Ukraine. Only the principled and united voice of the global majority can force him to choose peace over war. This is what the Peace Summit is intended to achieve. This is why he is so afraid of it,” Kuleba wrote on X on Friday morning.