A Russian state TV report that simulated a nuclear attack launched off the coast of County Donegal has caused consternation in Ireland.
Dmitry Kiselyov, a pro-Kremlin presenter on Channel One known as “Vladimir Putin’s mouthpiece”, on Monday showed a video of an underwater missile wreaking apocalypse on Ireland and the UK.
Russia could “plunge Britain into the depths of the sea” using an unmanned underwater vehicle called Poseidon, he said. “The explosion of this thermonuclear torpedo by Britain’s coastline will cause a gigantic tsunami wave up to 500 metres high. Such a barrage alone also carries extreme doses of radiation. Having passed over the British Isles, it will turn what might be left of them into a radioactive desert.”
The report did not name Ireland but the simulation showed its destruction along with Britain, which has angered the Kremlin by supplying weapons to Ukraine.
Irish politicians condemned the report. Neale Richmond, a legislator with the ruling Fine Gael party, called for the expulsion of Russia’s ambassador to Ireland, Yury Filatov.
Billy Kelleher, an MEP, tweeted: “Time to tell Russian government that this wild language is simply unacceptable to us.”
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and naval exercises off Ireland’s coast have stirred debate in Ireland about the state’s military neutrality and feeble defence forces.
The TV report made the front pages of several Irish newspapers on Tuesday, including the Irish edition of the Sun. “Mad Vlad’s off his rocket – Russia threat to nuke Ireland,” said the print headline.
The Russian embassy in Dublin said in a statement: “The views and presentations in the TV show are that of the editors. The official position of Russia has always been that there can be no winners in a nuclear war and that it must never be unleashed.”