Russian journalist Igor Korotchenko named three targets Russia would strike if the United Kingdom were to enter the war in Ukraine.
Korotchenko made the remarks during a recent appearance on Russian-state television, which has repeatedly been used by authorities to make threats against the West after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine in late February.
The U.K., like other Western countries, quickly condemned the invasion and has provided humanitarian and military support for Ukraine to defend itself. They have not, however, become directly involved with combat against Russia, which would likely lead to a massive escalation and expansion of the conflict.
Still, members of Russian-state television, which has largely pushed Putin’s pro-war propaganda, speculated about how Putin would respond if the U.K. entered the war.
“Russia doesn’t desire or want war with the U.K. But if British soldiers land in Ukraine and engage in combat against the Russian armed forces, we reserve the right to resort to any possible action,” said Korotchenko.
The Russian journalist added that if any NATO country sends troops to Ukraine, it would give the Kremlin “the right to respond in any way, including preventative strikes.” He said that “there’s no need” for preventative nuclear strikes, instead advocating for hypersonic Kinzhal missiles.
The first place Korotchenko said Russia would likely target is the Ministry of Defense (MoD) in Whitehall, where he says British leaders “make plans and are designing a war against Russia.” Though he said Moscow would not target civilians in this scenario, the MoD is located centrally in London, near civilian and other governmental areas.
The second location would be against British military bases, where he said nuclear weapons are being stored—though it remains unlikely the U.K. or any other Western nation would use nuclear weapons against Russia.
Lastly, he said Russia would target “other decision-making centers” in London, but did not specify exactly what this would entail.
“This is not a threat,” Korotchenko said. “This is a preventative right to self-defense, which we must exercise without fail should Britain really decide to fight us.”
His remarks were in response to reports that Warrant Officer Paul Carney said that British soldiers need to be “physically fit for operations” in order “to meet the threat from Russia” in a column for Soldier magazine, according to a report from the Kyiv Post.
However, the U.K. has not offered any official indication that it plans to become directly involved in the conflict by sending troops to fight on Ukraine’s behalf. Korotchenko’s remarks are only the latest instance of Russian-state television hosts discussing potential attacks against NATO countries in recent months.
At times, hosts have even made threats about nuclear war. In one viral clip from last month, host Vladimir Solovyov warned that if NATO continued supporting Ukraine in the conflict, it would lead to a nuclear strike.
“If everything keeps progressing the way it is, only a couple of mutants in Lake Baikal will survive. The rest will be destroyed in a massive nuclear strike,” he said.
Newsweek reached out to the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office for comment.