WW3 fears as Russia ‘could turn United States to ash’, Kremlin mouthpiece warns

A TV presenter who has been called the “mouthpiece” of Vladimir Putin, has suggested Russia could turn the US into "radioactive ash" if tensions over Ukraine increase.

Dmitry Kiselyov issued the warning as Russia held live fire military drills involving more than 500 tanks.

Tensions between Russia and the US over the Kremlin’s alleged plans to invade Ukraine have been deemed as a potential spark for World War Three.

Putin has been accused by the West of positioning 175,000 soldiers around Ukraine in a plan to invade the country early next year.

However, Russia insists it has no plans to invade the neighbouring ex-Soviet state.

Russian state TV channel Rossiya 1 said that the video summit set to take place between Washington and Moscow on Tuesday evening comes at a "peak of tension".

Mr Kiselyov claimed Putin is "using every opportunity to clarify Russia's stance on the search for a balance of interests", and to make clear its "red lines".

He accused the US of peddling "fakes about Russia's intention to invade Ukraine", while "fluffing out its feathers and demonstrating its military might" especially in the Black Sea.

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Mr Kiselyov then warned US president Joe Biden that he should heed Russia's demands over Ukraine, before alluding to Moscow's nuclear and hypersonic capabilities.

He told viewers: "At the last Russian-American summit, Joe Biden signed a joint document with Vladimir Putin, a statement on strategic stability.

"There it was written as plain as day: 'Today, we reaffirm the principle that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought'.

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"If Biden accepts this, then he really doesn't want the US to be turned into radioactive ash. This is the red line for Biden, put by Putin."

Officials in Moscow have demanded that Ukraine should not be admitted to NATO, and that strike weapons should not be placed on its soil by Western powers, asserting that they would pose a direct threat to Russia.

Meanwhile, more than 500 tanks crews from Russia's Southern military district conducted live firing exercises.

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The district includes the Krasnodar region and annexed Black Sea peninsular Crimea which both border Ukraine.

The drills involved T-72B3 and T-90A tanks, and included firing from a large-calibre anti-aircraft machine gun, said reports.

Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state, has told Swedish Television that the threat from Russia was "very serious because what we've seen is the massing of significant forces near the border with Ukraine".

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