The Mainstream Media Manufactured the “Zircon Missile Scandal”

The West went to great lengths earlier this week exaggerating the importance of a popular Russian TV host doing a program about how Zircon hypersonic missiles could potentially hit the US if they were equipped on submarines deployed in international waters along America’s Atlantic and Pacific coasts in response to Washington’s withdrawal from the INF Treaty. Dmitry Kiselev, who’s also the Director General of the Rossiya Segodnya structure under which Sputnik is based, aired maps and commentary about this during his Sunday program “Vesti Nedeli” a few days after President Putin told the Federal Assembly that his country will respond if the US deploys short- and intermediate-range missiles in Europe. The Mainstream Media went wild imagining that Kiselev was somehow telegraphing a message from the Kremlin, but the reality is a lot less interesting.

Although the Rossiya-1 television channel is publicly financed just like Rossiya Segodnya and Sputnik, none of them are editorially interfered with by the state, as confirmed by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov in response to a question about this manufactured scandal. He also reiterated that President Putin never directly declared any intention to aim missiles at the US. Those trying to proverbially “read the tea leaves”, however, continue to ridiculously insist that because Mr. Kiselev’s paycheck comes from Russian taxpayers, that he’s somehow a “puppet” of the state. That assertion overlooks the fact that his program last Sunday wasn’t anything provocative but just a reaffirmation of a predictable scenario that even armchair military observers could have anticipated long in advance. After all, there’s nothing original about the possibility of Russian subs lurking off the US’ coasts.

American media went into overdrive last year following reports about how a Russian ship was sighted 100 miles off of North Carolina, so it would make sense that a prominent Russian TV host might think that his country could prospectively respond to the US’ INF Treaty withdrawal by equipping state-of-the-art Zircon hypersonic missiles on submarines instead and deploying them in international waters if the US positions short- and intermediate-range missiles in Europe. Furthermore, one of the modern-day warfare purposes of submarines is to secretly launch missiles against an enemy, especially nuclear ones in order to maintain a credible second-strike deterrence, so again, there’s nothing new about Mr. Kiselev’s suggestions. It’s just that the Mainstream Media’s obsession with Russia-related fearmongering contributed to manufacturing a scandal when there otherwise never should have been one.


By Andrew Korybko
Source: Oriental Review

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