'We've been driven to this': Russia pundits call on Putin to unleash epidemic to win war

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Andrey Gurulyov, a deputy in the State Duma, made a series of unhinged threats against Ukraine, claiming that Russia should cause the “collapse” of Ukrainian society. Speaking on Russian state TV, he said Moscow should aim to freeze and starve the Ukrainian civilian population. He praised the recent Russian barrage of missile strikes that have targeted Ukraine’s energy network.

In response to the wave of missile strikes, Ukraine’s national energy company urged citizens to “charge everything” ahead of expected power cuts.

Outages of up to four hours at a time will affect the whole country on Thursday, according to grid operator Ukrenergo.

Mr Gurulyov delighted in explaining that knocking out Ukraine’s energy system would create circumstances for a disease epidemic in the country.

He insisted that Russia had no choice but to ensure Ukrainian civilians had no access to heat, running water or refrigerated food.

Michael McFaul, a former US ambassador to Russia, tweeted in response to the threat: “They just get crazier and crazier on Skabeeva’s show.”

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Video of the deranged tirade was shared by Russian media monitor Julia Davis, who tweeted: “Russian lawmakers Andrey Gurulyov and Konstantin Dolgov advocate freezing, starving the Ukrainian civilian population, forcing them into exile by making their survival otherwise impossible.

“State TV host Olga Skabeeva disingenuously claims that Russia simply has no other choice.”

Mr Gurulyov told Russian viewers: “The absence of electricity means the absence of water, the absence of refrigerators, the absence of sewer.

“One week after all electricity is cut off, the city of Kyiv will be swimming in s***, pardon my expression. There will be a clear threat of an epidemic.”

He explained that Ukraine’s energy supply systems were a more significant military target than Kyiv’s armed forces or supply routes.

The State Duma deputy said: “Another relevant point that is quite serious, we don’t have to strike the railway junctions, the railroads or even the bridges.

“We need to knock out the control centers, we’re in the digital age.

“Data centers with servers control the railways and Ukraine’s energy supply systems as well as banking systems and a mint that prints the money.”

He predicted that these military tactics would create a “flood of refugees” with no choice but to escape Ukraine.

Mr Gurulyov said: “How would they live? Let me finish, if you have no water, no sewer, we’re projecting the flood of refugees towards Western borders, correct?

“Because it’s impossible to survive, there is no heating, no water, no sewers, no lights.

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