A Russian state TV program showed potential targets inside the U.S. that it said new Russian hypersonic missiles could hit within five minutes, in the event of a nuclear strike by the U.S. on a Russian target.
What's the story?
On Sunday's edition of Russia's weekly TV news show "Vesti Nedeli," host Dmitry Kiselyov showed a computer-generated map of the United States with several targets marked. These targets included the Pentagon, Camp David, the Jim Creek Navy communications base in Washington state, as well as a military training center in Maryland and a U.S. Air Force base in California that have both been closed for years. Kiselyov said that these targets were military or presidential command centers.
He then demonstrated the speed at which a Russian hypersonic missile could reach each of these targets if a nuclear war broke out between the U.S. and Russia.
"For now, we're not threatening anyone, but if such a deployment takes place, our response will be instant," Kiselyov said, according to a translation provided by Reuters. Reuters also said that Kiselyov is "close to the Kremlin."
The Kremlin, which infamously censors journalists, told Reuters that it had nothing to do with the report, and that it left such things up to the discretion of the station's editorial policy.
The hypersonic missiles Kiselyov referred to in his news briefing can travel at more than five times the speed of sound.
This news segment comes less than a week after Russian President Vladimir Putin said that if the U.S. wanted to "ratchet up confrontation to the levels of the Cuban Missile Crisis" it should "count" the flight time for Russian hypersonic missiles.
Putin has also said that if the United States places intermediate-range missiles in Europe, which the U.S. government has said it has no plans to do, that Russia will be forced to move submarines carrying hypersonic missiles within range of the United States.
The Daily Mail reported that Kiselyov has a track record of being anti-American, and once said that Russia could turn the U.S. into "radioactive ash."
The U.S. and Russia have recently both pulled out of a 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty. The U.S. said that the treaty was invalid because Russia had already been in blatant violation of it.