Russian state TV host admits people were wrong to joke about US weapons

A Kremlin propagandist has admitted that Russia had underestimated the impact US-supplied weapons would have on Russian forces fighting in Ukraine.

During an exchange on Russia’s Channel One on Tuesday, the host of Vremya Pack (Time will tell), Artyom Sheynin, discussed with the Deputy Chairman of the State Duma, Pyotr Tolstoy, the role that Western countries and their leaders were playing in helping Ukraine.

After Tolstoy spoke about the importance of Russia taking Odessa, Poltava, Sumy and Kharkiv, Sheynin replied that the probability of seizing these Ukrainian cities would depend on whether German Gepard tanks and the French howitzers “end there or not.”

Tolstoy said Russian forces had the ability to “burn European aid workers with napalm along with their weapons” and rejected the idea of ​​negotiations to end hostilities. He insisted that the only outcome of the war would be “capitulation to Russia” or “Russia’s capitulation.”

An M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) is seen in use during naval exercises involving the Philippine Marine Corps and the US Marine Corps at Capas, in the Tarlac province of the Philippines on October 13, 2022. Russian propagandists on state television have voiced the US supply of HIMARS and other weapons systems to Ukraine.
JAM STA ROSA/Getty Images

But Sheynin then called on Russia to “be honest and direct with ourselves,” describing how “we joked for a long time about the Ukrainian army, but many no longer think it’s a laughing matter,” he said.

“We were joking about American weapons,” he continued. “After getting to know HIMARS and 155mm shells up close and personal, it’s not much fun anymore when we see them dismantle our warehouses and command centers with precision.”

Sheynin was referring to US-supplied weapons that have brought Ukraine’s forces considerable gains.

Sheynin said he understood the rhetoric of talking tough, but “maybe we will wrap them up, but this wrapping is not happening too fast.”

The exchange was tweeted by journalist Julia Davis of Russia Media Monitor.

“Russian state TV presenter destroys lawmakers’ bravado about Russia’s intention to seize all of Ukraine and ‘burn European humanitarians with napalm’ by injecting a rare dose of honesty into the conversation,” he wrote.

US-supplied weapons to Ukraine have been a source of contention for guests on Russian state television. This week, it was reported that the US will send Patriot missile batteries Ukraine the most advanced surface-to-air missile it has provided to Kyiv.

Host of the program Russia 1, 60 minutesYevgeny Popov seemed concerned about the move in a clip tweeted by Francis Scarr of BBC Surveillance.

“We should not underestimate the technical characteristics of these systems,” Popov said, or the fact that “American air defense systems are appearing on the borders of Russia.”

The patriots will help Ukraine address the gaps in integrated air defense capabilities that they have to deal with missile barrages and Iranian-supplied drones that have hit civilian and infrastructure targets.

Sean McFate, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and an adjunct professor at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, described his supply as a “huge step forward in America’s engagement.”

“The patriots will provoke a Russian reaction,” he said. news week in an emailed statement. “It will be diplomatic, but it is the most escalated action by the United States to date.”

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