A Russian propagandist and Vladimir Putin ally has warned the Baltic States that they would fall “15 minutes” after being invaded by Russia in a chilling threat issued to NATO.

Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia – known as the Baltics – are former Soviet countries that have since joined NATO. They have been staunch supporters of Ukraine since Russian forces invaded and are precariously positioned on the Russian border.

Vladimir Solovyov, a Russian TV personality, celebrated the hypothetical expansion of the country’s “empire” with guests on his show.

Russia expert and founder of the watchdog group Russian Media Monitor, Julia Davis, posted a clip of the exchange to X (formerly Twitter) on Saturday.

Describing the clip, she said: “State TV pundits on Vladimir Solovyov’s show rejoiced that the Russian empire is expanding and expressed their amazement at the ‘stupid’ Westerners who still can’t figure out modern Russia, which has been ‘kicking their a*** for centuries.”

Stanislav Krapivnik, a Russian-American military analyst who served in the US Army before defecting to Moscow in the 1990s, was on the panel of Solovyov’s show.

He issued the chilling warning when he said: “We want the world. Preferably, all of it. And that’s where we’re going. Right now, the Russian empire is growing back. We’re coming back.

“The Baltics will be next. They say they’re ready for a war with Russia. How long will that take? About 15 minutes.”

The countries in question are part of NATO meaning an attack on the Baltics would almost certainly lead to US and British involvement along with numerous other allies.

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Despite the fiery rhetoric, analysts have suggested that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has hampered Moscow’s ability to station troops on the border with NATO.

In addition, Russia is bogged down in its war in Ukraine and suffering heavy casualties, it’s hard to see how the Kremlin would have the political will and military capabilities to launch an invasion of the Baltics.

Still, Ukraine has long warned that it is not the last country in Putin’s sights claiming that the Baltics, and perhaps Poland and the rest of Europe, could be next if Kyiv falls.

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