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RT's Simonyan Faces Backlash Over Call to Detonate Nuke Over Siberia

RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan.

Siberian political figures have slammed the chief editor of the state-run RT news outlet for her calls to drop a nuclear bomb over Siberia as a way of sending a message to the West. 

RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan proposed detonating a thermonuclear device “on our own territory, somewhere over Siberia,” claiming that there would be no impact on the humans living below. 

“What will happen is all electronic devices and satellites would be knocked out,” Simonyan said on her television show Monday. 

Simonyan’s remarks were a “deep insult” toward Siberians, said Maria Prusakova, a Communist Party member in Russia’s lower house of parliament from the Altai republic.

“You need to apologize to the residents of Siberia at the very least,” Prusakova said on Wednesday.

The mayor of Siberia’s largest city Novosibirsk, Anatoly Lokot, cautioned that a hypothetical thermonuclear explosion could lead to unpredictable outcomes “for thousands of years.”

“There’s nothing good about thermonuclear explosions,” Lokot told local media Wednesday.

The Kremlin distanced itself from Simonyan’s remarks, with spokesman Dmitry Peskov telling reporters Tuesday that her words do not reflect Moscow’s official stance and that Russia has “not abandoned” its moratorium on nuclear testing.

Nikolai Korolev, an aide to Moscow City Duma member Yevgeny Stupin, said he had petitioned Russia’s Interior Ministry and Investigative Committee to probe Simonyan’s remarks.

In her proposal, Simonyan said that a nuclear detonation over Siberia was needed to send a “painful” message to the West amid a “nuclear ultimatum that’s becoming more and more impossible to avoid.”

“This is the most humane option,” she said.

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