(MOSCOW) -- A prominent Russian TV presenter is getting a lot of attention in foreign media for warning that Russia could nuke the U.S. into oblivion.
Dmitry Kiselyov hosts an influential Sunday evening program on the main state-owned channel and on Sunday night, he posed in front of a mushroom cloud graphic and ranted about how Russia is the only country in the world still capable of turning the U.S. into "radioactive dust." He also suggested President Obama's hair is graying due to fears about Russia's nuclear arsenal.
Kiselyov is known as a firebrand and last year his diatribe about gays also generated headlines in the west.
He's also essentially the Kremlin's propaganda chief, the head of a new state-owned media group aimed at improving Russia’s message at home and abroad.
His comments seem intended to reassure the public in Moscow that Russia -- a day after being isolated at the United Nations and on the cusp of being isolated economically from the world -- is still a mighty nation capable of standing tall on its own.
Kiselyov is selling Russian President Vladimir Putin's dream of the return of Russian might -- the return of glory and empire lost -- as the Kremlin flexes its muscles and reasserts itself on the world stage.
So is Russia really prepared to nuke the U.S.? That's extremely unlikely, but Kiselyov -- and Putin -- want to remind the Russian people that they can.
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