Russia’s ill-fated invasion of Ukraine is bursting at the seams, and the Kremlin’s best propagandists are unraveling at the same time. In the absence of good news from the front, Putin’s regime is promoting other ideas about how to deal with the self-inflicted disaster.
Prominent pundits regularly featured on Kremlin-controlled state television flatly reject the idea of negotiations, and none dare suggest Russia withdraw from Ukraine to end the war. Instead, they double down — and propose to assassinate leading Westerners responsible for helping Ukraine defend itself against the Russian invasion.
Appearing on the state television program The evening with Vladimir Solovyov On Tuesday evening, Yevgeny Satanovsky – one of Russia’s most prominent pro-Putin propagandists – proposed a deadly solution. Solovyov gave chase and asked Satanovsky: “How do we win? How should we respond to the Americans? What should Russia do?”
Satanovsky, who is president of the Russian Institute for the Middle East after leading the Russian-Jewish Congress, replied: “Russia is what it is, in terms of a nation. We remain as we are. Those who are with us will be fine, and the rest we will kill… Opposing us is a relatively small group in charge of this camp – they are threatening and are not afraid of anything. Since the time of Gorbachev, once we started playing by their rules, they were no longer afraid of us. This is the most important factor.”
Solovyov wondered if he meant that the world’s roughly 1.5 billion NATO-affiliated people should be slaughtered. Satanovsky explained: “There are not 1.5 billion people leading the process from the other side, but about one to two hundred. They need to realize that when it comes down to it, it means the end of them personally… You know I know these people. I know them all. I’ve seen them all. Just the realization that they are personally facing the end… that alone will have an effect on those people.”
Satanovsky confirmed that he had prepared a list of such names, and Solovyov promptly referred to it as “The Satanovsky List.” The expert surmised, “In the Book of Life, we also make entries for ourselves. ‘The Satanovsky List’? Maybe. We should be doing things like this, because any attempt to negotiate with… [Volodymyr] Zelensky or Biden would be like making a deal with your killer.”
Satanovsky said he gets furious when people suggest that peace is better than war. “No, peace is not better. There will be no peace. The purpose of these people is that our country no longer exists, that the people who live here no longer exist and even that the language we speak is gone — or even a memory that it once did,” he said. They want to make an entry in an encyclopedia: ‘There used to be Russians, there used to be Russia, but now it’s gone.'”
Andrey Sidorov, deputy dean of world politics at Moscow State University, fully agreed, noting that in light of Russia’s recent annexations, the war is now taking place in what they consider to be a territory of the Russian Federation. Sidorov emphasized: “These are our defeats now, we are fighting on our land. Why should we show mercy to those leading this war?”
Humiliating failures on the battlefield are indeed at the heart of Russia’s desperate efforts to divert anger at NATO into helping Ukraine fight the invasion.
Appearing on the state television program 60 minutes on Tuesday, war correspondent Alexandr Sladkov casually admitted that Ukrainians were able to recapture 17 settlements — and that’s counting. Sladkov too told a stunned host Olga Skabeeva that Russian troops are at least two months away from even trying to advance, due to a lack of manpower and the time needed to train newly mobilized reinforcements.
Devastated by Ukraine’s failed conquest, TV host Vladimir Solovyov . stands allowed he was in a bad mood and advocated the reinstatement of the death penalty, to execute those who withdraw, surrender or desert.
In the broadcast of Solovyov’s show on Wednesday Solovyov Livehis sidekick Roman Golovanov interviewed war correspondent Alexander Kots, who stood on the ruins of Svatove and reported: “The problem right now is that we don’t have enough people on the front lines to contain such a large front… We simply do not have physical powers, which is the reason for the failures that we are currently seeing. There is a pretty difficult period of military action going on right now. In the near future, there will be no good news coming from the Kherson region. At the front from Lugansk, not everything is so great either.”
When he appeared on the same show, TV presenter Boris Korchevnikov burst into tears, accusing those who do not want to die in the Russian war of “a zero, decay and waste”. While the despondent propagandist cried into the air live and urged others to join the fray, he himself expressed no desire to do so.