The head of a top Russian state-run news organization has resigned from her position after Russia invaded Ukraine late last month and warned in a new interview this week that the world is on the brink of nuclear war.
“I really think we’re on the brink of a nuclear war right now,” Maria Baronova, who resigned as editor-in-chief of Russia Today, also known as RT, told Fox News in an exclusive interview. “I’m not exaggerating.”
“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 said. “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.”
Baronova said that the straw that broke the camel’s back was a message that a colleague wrote on social media about Putin’s invasion, which stated: “If you are now ashamed of being Russian, don’t worry, you are not Russian.”
“I was really disturbed by that tone and level of support,” Baronova said in response to the social media post. “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. And this regime will finally turn our life into one endless hell. What’s there. Already turned.”
“I have nothing else to talk about with them,” she said. “Our own government is bombing our relatives, our friends.”
Baronova said that she was stunned by how many Russians were brainwashed by Putin’s claim that they were fighting Nazis in Ukraine.
“I try to talk with people on the streets… they even had arguments like, ‘We are fighting with Hitler,’ but look, I’ve got some news. Hitler died 80 years ago,” she said. “It seems like they’re really brainwashed.”
She also said that Western sanctions against Russia have started to change the public’s attitude toward the invasion.
“People were in favor on [the] first day of invasion. Now they are less convinced and much more skeptical because they understand now that they are going to lose their jobs, they are going to lose their cars, their iPhones, their everything,” she said. “So, let’s see what that are going to say in a month … The whole world is in a bad position.”
She said that the situation feels “like 1939,” which was the start of World War II, noting that it was impossible to know what would happen and that the people in Russia are “watching a lie on [the] TV.”