Russian Legislator Claims Russia Able to “Shut Down the Whole Planet"
Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a Russian legislator, made comments about a new Russian defense system on a talk show on Oct. 15, claiming that it could “shut down the whole planet”. Zhirinovsky heads the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia and often gives fervent speeches similar to the latest one. In one instance, he said that Russian children should learn how to use a rifle rather than learning English, asserting that the whole world will speak Russian.
His speech was mostly directed at Washington, claiming that it is scared of Russia’s S-300 defense system. According to Zhirinovsky, Israel is skeptical of Russia’s supply of the defense system to Syria, which in turn makes the United States, a long-term ally of Israel, scared as well.
He went on to say that Russia also possesses S-400, S-500, S-600, and S-700 systems, giving it the ability to “shut down the whole planet” and inhibiting any plane from taking off.
Just a few days earlier, a Dutch general Jeff Mac Mootry, accused Russia of Cold War behavior in the Arctic Circle. Mootry said that Russian forces were trying to provoke NATO forces during military exercises. As NATO forces performed launching exercises of the ballistic missile defense system, Russian naval vessels came closer to the NATO units than they had in the past. Mootry claimed that the reason for their closer proximity is to make NATO aware of their presence.
Since the end of the Cold War, Russia has been nervous about the strength and power of NATO, especially in former Soviet territory. In 1990, NATO promised not to expand so far east but has since broken that promise by extending membership to most of the former Soviet-led countries. Russia’s provocative behavior during the military exercises might be rooted in such concerns.
However, to many, Zhirinovsky’s claims are discredited by his history of outlandish speeches and could just be another instance of Russia attempting to showcase its power and might. His provocative and hawkish attitude is hardly seen as a credible threat.