Russian President Vladimir Putin's propagandists issued a new warning this week that the war in Ukraine will soon turn into a direct conflict with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which is supplying Ukraine with military aid to fend off Putin's troops.
Nearly eight weeks have passed since Putin launched his unprovoked, illegal, and genocidal invasion of Ukraine. His forces have suffered tremendous losses at the hands of Ukrainian resistance fighters and speculation has abounded about how far Putin will go to achieve his objectives.
The Kremlin has repeatedly jiggled its nuclear arsenal in the face of the West as a threat, but officials in the US and Russia have both conceded that atomic warfare is extremely unlikely unless Putin's power is in jeopardy or the survival of the Russian state is at risk.
Putin has shamelessly lied to his people about why he attacked Ukraine, claiming that neo-Nazis are committing acts of atrocities against Russian-speaking residents, particularly in the separatist-controlled Eastern regions of Donbas and Luhansk.
Overwhelming evidence of war crimes has emerged from across Ukraine in the first two months of Putin's campaign. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, meanwhile, has vowed that Ukraine will never surrender or give up an inch of its territory.
It is therefore critical to keep tabs on Putin's ongoing narrative because the Russian population has been largely cut off from Western sources of information. The latest rhetoric spouted by state television host Vladimir Solovyov insidiously taps into the internal effects of Putin's manipulation.
Solovyov proclaimed during a panel discussion on Russia 1 that Russia is preparing to "grind up citizens of NATO" in its eventual war "against Europe and the world" after it defeats Ukraine.
The translated video was posted to Twitter by Julia Davis, The Daily Beast's resident Russia expert and founder of the Russian Media Monitor, which tracks the Kremlin's disinformation.
"I believe the special military operation is entering a new stage. Ukrainians alone are no longer enough. Now they're talking about NATO countries supplying de-facto their own weapons. We'll see not only NATO's weapons being drawn into this, but also their operators, de-facto, we're starting to wage war against NATO countries," Solovyov said.
"We'll be grinding up NATO's war machine as well as citizens of NATO countries when this operation concludes. NATO will have to ask itself 'do we have what we need to defend ourselves? Do we have the people to defend ourselves?'" Solovyov continued.
"And there will be no mercy. there will be no mercy," he added. "Not only Ukraine will have to be denazified – the war against Europe and the world is developing a more specific outline which means we'll have to act differently and to act much more harshly."