Top editor for Russia’s RT network resigns in protest, states fear of potential nuclear war

Tensions have been ratcheted up dramatically by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and there are very real and legitimate concerns that the conflict could escalate, either by spilling over outside of Ukraine’s borders or through the use of nuclear weapons.

Fear of the potential for a nuclear exchange appears to be what compelled a top Russian media figure to resign her position in protest last week, Fox News reported.

That person is Maria Baronova, the former managing editor of Russian state-run media outlet RT, who spoke in an exclusive interview with Fox about the reasons why she had publicly condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin — who she has previously protested against on several occasions — and quit her top job at RT.

“We’re on the brink of a nuclear war right now”

“The problem is, I know these people very well. They never send threats, they just kill, so there is kind of [a] weird silence around me, but I really think we’re on the brink of nuclear war right now. I’m not exaggerating,” Baronova told Fox in the recent interview.

“I have a son, I can’t leave because his father won’t allow me to leave with him, and so I just prefer to stay in Moscow … It seems like we’re either in North Korea or we are going to be killed by a thermonuclear mushroom,” she continued. “I wouldn’t quit, and I wouldn’t lose my salary and job if I was sure that we are going to be alive for many years, but I really don’t know what is going to happen to all of us next.”

Interestingly enough, Baronova was actually more concerned that Western nations will feel compelled to resort first to the use of nuclear weapons as a means to halt Putin’s aggressive actions in Ukraine, and she said, “This is a very dangerous situation.”

Resigned in protest against invasion of Ukraine

The U.K.’s Express reported Friday that Baronova had announced her resignation from Russia’s RT after finding herself in deep disagreement with her colleagues and coworkers at the network over the subject of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Our granddads didn’t fight for this. And now they’ve been betrayed,” she said in a statement at that time.

“If I chose to be with Russia, this does not mean that I should walk in a totalitarian system, be silent or, for example, rejoice that the regime, which I do not want for my country, is being exported somewhere else,” Baronova added, according to Fox. “And this regime will finally turn our life into one endless hell. What’s there. Already turned.”

Risk of nuclear war very real

Baronova’s expressed concern over the risk of a potential nuclear war is not entirely unfounded, as NPR reported last week on the realistic possibility of nuclear escalation in the conflict.

Shortly after the invasion began, Putin reportedly ordered his nuclear forces to be on high alert. Those forces reportedly possess around 4,500 nuclear weapons — some of the intercontinental ballistic missile variety, others fit for deployment to bombers and submarines, and even around 2,000 so-called “tactical” nuclear warheads that are purportedly small enough to be used in limited or regional fashion on the battlefield.

Of course, Putin has publicly vowed to only ever use Russia’s nuclear weapons as a “last resort,” but NPR noted that it was entirely unclear what sort of threshold there was for such a determination, to say nothing of the drastically increased chance of a potential miscalculation or false alarm prompting a launch order that could theoretically seal the fate of all of humanity in an instant.

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