In several popular Russian TV talk shows in the first half of May 2016, Russian politicians and media experts expressed anti-NATO and anti-U.S. sentiments in response to the Deveselu missile defense installation entering into service. A prominent military expert, Igor Korotchenko, said that if threatened, Russia should deploy a wing of bombers against the U.S. missile defense shield in Romania. "This includes the possibility of using tactical nuclear weapons," he said, adding that "if [the Americans] try to bare their teeth at us, we will break their teeth with this fist." Irina Yarovaya, chair of the Duma Security and Anti-Corruption Committee, said, on the Russia 1 channel, that "the U.S. is colonizing Europe through its NATO missile defense shield." Petr Tolstoy, an anchor on a Friday talk show on Russia's Channel 1 TV, mockingly asked whether the goal of the missile defense system was to defend vampires.
Below is a clip of excerpts from the shows:
Senior Russian Parliamentarian Yarovaya: "The U.S. Is Colonizing Europe Through Its NATO Missile Defense Shield"
The following statements by Irina Yarovaya, chairwoman of the Duma Security and Anti-Corruption Committee, were made on a talk show broadcast on May 15 on Russia 1, which belongs to the Russian State Radio and TV Broadcasting Company:
"The U.S. is upset by any kind of adequacy. While they keep occupying Europe - this is amusing. But in fact, this is a very dangerous situation, which bothers us from the national security perspective. In fact, the U.S. is colonizing Europe through its NATO missile defense shield. Europe and the EU are ruled by NATO. We understand perfectly and realistically what the Americans are doing and why. We understand that they, unfortunately, pose the main threat to us..."
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Military Expert Korotchenko: "Possibility Of Using Tactical Nuclear Weapons"
Col. [Ret.] Igor Korotchenko, Editor-in-Chief of National Security Magazine, said on the same talk show: "The Aegis system may automatically reconfigure itself according to the types of missiles being used in the launcher. The missiles that can be used on US destroyers in the seas and ashore in Romania are anti-ballistic SM-3 missiles, Tomahawks with conventional and nuclear warheads, and other missiles...
"This is a global plan, aiming to diminish our nuclear potential. That is why we cannot stand by calmly and watch, while [the US] loads the gun and aims it at our heads...
"With regard to Romania, we should deploy a wing of TU-22 M-3 [strategic bombers] in Crimea, in order to neutralize the Romanian segment of the US missile defense shield. This includes the possibility of using tactical nuclear weapons..."
Political Talk Show Anchor Tolstoy: Is the Purpose of the Base to Defend Democracy from Dracula?
In a talk show that aired on May 16 on Channel 1 Russia, anchor Petr Tolstoy stood in front of a map, on which the missile defense system was depicted as a large animated hand swatting at a cartoon figure of Count Dracula. "This base is located just 200 kilometers from Dracula's castle. So what is the purpose of the base?" he asked. "To defend democracy from Dracula, from vampires? Or perhaps to defend vampires from someone else?"
Korotchenko: If [The Americans] Try To Bare Their Teeth At Us, We Will Break Their Teeth With This Fist"
Igor Korotchenko said, in another talk show, which aired on Channel 1 Russia on May 10: "The goal of the Americans is to achieve military and technical superiority over Russia, in order to make us do whatever they want, while they enjoy a position of power. They want to coerce us to make certain internal and external policy decisions. But I tell you here and now that our foe will fail. This is a fist. We have this fist. If they try to bare their teeth at us, we will break their teeth with this fist..."