Executive Intelligence Review


Russian Media List Potential U.S. Targets for Zircon Missiles

Feb. 25, 2019 (EIRNS)—The weekly “Vesti Nedeli” program aired on Russia’s Channel 1 TV on Feb. 24 included a segment on the Zircon hypersonic missile which President Vladimir Putin described both during his nationally televised address to the Federal Assembly on Feb. 20 and in remarks to reporters afterwards. During that press conference he clearly indicated that while Russia does not want a new Cuban Missile Crisis with the United States, it is ready for one should it come. The “Vesti Nedeli” segment included a list of five targets for Zircon missiles which would be deployed aboard nuclear attack submarines should the U.S. deploy nuclear-armed missiles in Europe. The list included the Pentagon, Camp David near Thurmont, Maryland, Fort Ritchie in Maryland, McClellan Air Force Base outside of Sacramento, California, and a U.S. Navy communications station in Washington state.

When asked about the broadcast this morning, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov pointed out that Putin, during his remarks, did not name any particular geographic location as possible targets. “The President said that if our country is under threat and intermediate- and shorter-range missiles are deployed near its borders, a proportionate response will have to be made and our missiles targeted not only at the launchers, but at the territories where the center of decision-making is located. Please remember that the President did not mention a single geographic name in this connection,” Peskov said. He otherwise refused to comment on the content of the broadcast.

Two of the sites, Fort Ritchie and McClellan AFB have been closed for many years, and presumably the Russian military knows that. Their inclusion on a list by the Russian media might be used to suggest a lack of competence on the part of the relevant journalists.

The point is, however, that state TV is conveying to the Russian population that Putin said the Russian military will put in place the capability to wipe out U.S. command centers, if the Aegis Ashore, etc. proceeds.