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Putin Ally Says World War III Will ‘Definitely’ Begin Soon in Middle East

Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of the Russian-state-owned broadcaster RT, predicted on Monday that World War III will “definitely” break out in the Middle East.

In a series of posts to X, formerly Twitter, Simonyan, who the U.S. State Department deems a Kremlin propagandist, raised questions about when world powers, including the United States, would spark a major conflict, although she claimed that Russia will sit out of the impending war.

“And now the third world war,” Simonyan posted to X Monday evening. “Whether a world war will break out now or a little later depends on whether Washington believes that it will be useful to it now, before the elections, or vice versa. Judging by the choral silence of the American media, they are still thinking.”

Putin Ally Says WWIII Will 'Definitely" BeginSoon
Margarita Simonyan, the head of state-run television network RT, attends a ceremony to present state decorations for achievements in the variety of fields at the Kremlin in Moscow on December 20, 2022. Simonyan predicted Monday evening that World War III was “definitely” approaching, but that Russia would not participate in the conflict.

Simonyan’s comments follow other allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin who have made similar claims in light of the Russian-Ukraine war and the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Kremlin propagandist Vladimir Solovyon, an anchor on the Russian 1 channel, said earlier this week that WWIII had already started. Deputy Chair of Russia’s Security Council Dmitry Medvedev claimed in a post to X in early December that there hasn’t been such a high threat of “direct confrontation” between Russia and NATO since the Cold War, criticizing President Joe Biden‘s administration for funding Ukraine’s fight against Russia and causing a prolonged war.

“A world war will definitely start,” Simonyan said in a separate post on Monday. “And with almost complete probability – precisely in the Middle East.”

Newsweek reached out to the Russian Foreign Ministry via email for comment.

Several countries apart of the NATO military alliance have taken steps to prepare for the chance of the war in Ukraine breaking into other parts of Europe. Biden has also warned of the U.S. being pulled into a direct conflict with Russia if Moscow is successful in its goals in Ukraine, urging Congress in a statement in December to sign off on additional military aid to send to Kyiv.

Israel’s military action in the Gaza Strip in response to the Hamas attacks last fall has also sparked concern for greater international conflict. The war has sparked reactions from other Iranian-aligned militant groups in the region, such as repeated attacks on shipping vessels traveling through the Red Sea by the Houthi rebels based in Yemen. Biden faced backlash last week after ordering multiple airstrikes on targets connected to the militant group.

Putin has also warned about taking greater action against Western countries for their support of Kyiv’s military, telling reporters on New Year’s Day that Moscow’s real enemy was not Ukraine itself but those “who want to destroy Russian statehood and to achieve, as they say, a strategic defeat of Russia on the battlefield.”

“Therefore, though it has been their goal to deal with Russia from time immemorial, we will deal with them faster, it seems,” Putin added, referring to Western allies like the U.S.