Russian tanks descending on Warsaw and Berlin? Missiles lobbed at Washington and London? Such are the scenarios aired by a Russian national television program in response to suggestions that world leaders mark the defeat of Nazi Germany somewhere other than in Moscow.
In a recent segment broadcast by the St. Petersburg-based Channel 5 station, presenter Nika Strizhak and a reporter suggest sending Russian tanks, fighter jets, and nuclear missiles to Western capitals should world leaders snub Russia's celebration of the 70th anniversary of Victory Day in May.
"It's a very intriguing idea to move our Victory Day parade to London or Berlin. We could certainly display our tanks in Warsaw and hold a large, European tour," Strizhak said in the February 8 broadcast of her weekly news and commentary show, Glavnoye.
WATCH: Glavnoye segment plans European vacation (in Russian):
The segment, an apparent stab at satire, came in response to comments by Polish Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna last week supporting an idea to have world leaders mark the anniversary in Gdansk.
"It's not natural that tributes marking the end of the war should be organized where the war began," Schetyna said, according to the AP, which noted that he appeared to be referring to the secret 1939 pact between Germany and the Soviet Union to carve up Eastern Europe.
Strizhak proceeds to pass the baton to a reporter who explains the relative ease with which Russian tanks and fighter jets could reach numerous European capitals.
"Warsaw is too easy. It's only 1,300 kilometers from Moscow to the Polish capital," he intones as dramatic music pulsates in the background, adding that Russian tanks could make it to the Warsaw suburbs "in less than a day."
He adds that Berlin is just 1,800 kilometers away and would be "a nice place for a friendly visit" for the May 9 Victory Day celebrations, Russia's most revered national holiday.
"That [distance] is nothing for a modern army. Furthermore, many Russian officers know Germany pretty well. They won't even need any maps," he says in the report, which segues into animation showing tanks rumbling into a city as a German flag is lowered and replaced by the Russian tricolor.
"Prague, Helsinki, Vilnius, Tallinn, Riga: Those are all very close," he adds.
The reporter then sets his sights on London and Washington, which, he notes, will require "significant advanced planning" and the involvement of the Russian Navy and Air Force.
"But there's still time until May," he says. "We have a big army. There's enough for everyone and for Moscow as well."
He ends the segment by noting "with regret" that Russia's "Western partners" won't be able to see the Russian military's Iskander and Satan missiles on parade.
"Those can only be delivered from Russia by air," he says as an animated missile, outfitted with a smiley-face decal, rises into the air.
Channel 5 is owned by the National Media Group, in which Bank Rossia owns a stake. The bank's largest shareholder, Yury Kovalchuk, is a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin who has been hit with U.S. and EU sanctions over the Kremlin's interference in Ukraine.
The EU says Bank Rossia, which has also been hit with sanctions by both Washington and Brussels, owns "important stakes in the National Media Group, which in turn controls television stations that actively support the Russian government's policies of destabilization of Ukraine."
-- Carl Schreck