Russian TV expert calls Ukraine war “rehearsal” for NATO conflict

Russia’s war in Ukraine could be a “rehearsal” for a possible full-scale conflict with NATO countries, a top Russian political scientist has warned.

Alexei Fenenko, a research fellow at the Institute of International Security Studies and an associate professor at the Faculty of World Politics at Moscow State University, appeared on the state TV talk show “60 Minutes” aired on the Russia-1 channel and set the prospect a broader clash with the West.

“For us, the war in Ukraine is … a dress rehearsal for a potentially larger conflict in the future,” he said. “And that’s why we’re going to test and compete against NATO weapons and see on the battlefield how much stronger our weapons really are compared to theirs.”

“Maybe it’s a learning experience for a future conflict,” he added.

Olga Skabeyeva, the show’s host, who is said to be the Kremlin’s chief propagandist, then chimed in, noting that “it’s a terrible experiment.”

Destroyed Russian armored vehicles, cars and trucks are piled up on wasteland on the edge of the Bucha war zone.
Destroyed Russian armored vehicles pile up on a wasteland on the outskirts of the Bucha war zone.
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

More coverage of the Ukraine war

Fenenko is not the first guest on Russia-1 to raise the possibility of a major conflict between Russia and the West.

A convoy of Russian armored vehicles drives on a road in the course of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia near Mariupol on May 20.
A convoy of Russian armored vehicles drives on a road in the wake of the Ukraine-Russia conflict near Mariupol May 20.
Alexander Ermochenko/REUTERS

Alexei Zhuravlyov, a member of the nationalist political party Rodina, recently appeared on the channel, saying that “one Sarmat missile and the British Isles will be gone,” Newsweek reported.

Retired four-star US General Barry R. McCaffery described Feneko’s NATO war remarks as “amazing”.

“NATO/EU’s economic and conventional military might is many times that of Russia,” the three-time Purple Heart recipient tweeted on Thursday. “A dress rehearsal for a war with NATO against a much smaller opponent in Ukraine that is going very badly for Russia.”

According to Ukraine estimates, since the invasion began on February 24, Russian forces have lost 28,000 troops and countless pieces of military equipment, including tanks and the country’s Black Sea flagship, the Moskva.

NATO has refrained from directly interfering in the Ukraine war, but many of its member states, led by the US, have provided tens of billions of dollars in financial and humanitarian aid and a wide range of weapons to Ukraine to fight Russia. Russian TV expert calls Ukraine war “rehearsal” for NATO conflict


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