Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev warns Ukraine could ‘disappear from the map’ and dismisses Joe Biden as ‘a strange grandfather with dementia’ days after calling for ‘Judgement Day’
- Dimitry Medvedev warned Ukraine could ‘lose the remnants of state sovereignty’
- He also said NATO was ‘creating a real threat of world conflict’ by sending military equipment to Ukraine and troops to Europe’s eastern flank
- Warning comes after he said Ukraine and West will face a ‘Judgement Day’ response should they attempt to militarily dispute Russia’s control of Crimea
Russia’s former president today warned that Ukraine could ‘disappear from the world map’ amid Vladimir Putin’s invasion of the country.
Dmitry Medvedev, a Putin ally, also dismissed US President Joe Biden as a ‘strange grandfather with dementia’ in a scathing post on Telegram.
Medvedev warned NATO was ‘creating a real threat of world conflict and the death of a significant part of humanity’ by sending military equipment to Ukraine and troops to countries on Europe’s eastern flank, such as Estonia and Lithuania.
His warning comes just days after he said Ukraine and the West will face a ‘Judgement Day’ response should they attempt to militarily dispute Russia’s control of Crimea.
The refusal of Ukraine and Western powers to recognise Moscow’s ownership of the peninsula poses a ‘systemic threat’ for Russia, the former president said on Sunday, before declaring the Kremlin would hit back with maximum force if the territory is attacked.
Russia’s former president Dmitry Medvedev (pictured on June 29 in St Petersburg) has warned that Ukraine could ‘disappear from the world map’ amid Vladimir Putin’s invasion of the country
Rescuers and servicemen work at a school building damaged by a Russian military strike, amid Russia’s invasion on Ukraine, in Kramatorsk, in Donetsk region, Ukraine, on Thursday
In his latest Telegram post, Medvedev, now deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, today warned Russia’s invasion – and the West’s response to it – could mean ‘Ukraine would lose the remnants of state sovereignty and disappear from the world map’.
Medvedev added: ‘NATO continues, contrary to logic and common sense, to approach the borders of Russia, creating a real threat of world conflict and the death of a significant part of humanity.’
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made similar comments on Wednesday, saying that Russia’s military ‘tasks’ in Ukraine now go beyond the eastern Donbas region.
Lavrov also said Moscow’s objectives will expand further if the West keeps supplying Kyiv with long-range weapons such as the U.S.-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).
‘That means the geographical tasks will extend still further from the current line,’ he said.
Meanwhile, Medvedev also accused EU leaders, who have imposed sanctions on Russia, of ‘completely losing touch with reality’. He said they are ‘forcing the unfortunate Ukrainians to sacrifice their lives to join the European Union.’
Medvedev also warned that ‘ordinary Europeans will be fiercely cold in their homes this winter’ after Russia reduced gas flows to Europe earlier this month.
EU countries are scrambling to refill storage facilities with the fuel used to generate electricity, power industry and heat homes in the winter.
He added that as a result of crippling sanctions imposed on Russia by the EU and US, they have ‘lost their multi-billion dollar investments in the Russian economy’.
Referring to President Biden, Medvedev said: ‘The fact that the Americans elected their president a strange grandfather with dementia, who, forgetting about his duties, loves another country much more than his own.’
Russia’s invasion has killed thousands, displaced millions and flattened cities, particularly in Russian-speaking areas in the east and southeast of Ukraine. It has also raised global energy and food prices and increased fears of famine in poorer countries as Ukraine and Russia are both major grain producers.
Ukrainian firefighters work at the Bakhmut market after it was shelled by the Russian army, in the city of Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast of Ukraine on Thursday
A woman reacts next to the body of her husband, killed by a Russian military strike, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Thursday
Dmitry Medvedev, a Putin ally, also dismissed US President Joe Biden as a ‘strange grandfather with dementia’ in a scathing post on Telegram
Medvedev on Tuesday said Russia will prevail in Ukraine and will set the terms for a future peace deal with Kyiv.
‘Russia will achieve all its goals. There will be peace – on our terms,’ Medvedev said in a post on Telegram.
A day earlier, Medvedev warned that Ukraine and the West will face a ‘Judgement Day’ response if they attempt to militarily dispute Russia’s control of Crimea.
‘Judgement Day come very fast and hard. It will be very difficult to hide,’ he announced, according to Russia’s TASS news agency.
Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 after a pro-Moscow president in Kyiv was toppled amid mass street protests.
The Kremlin then also backed pro-Russian armed separatists in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, which its army has since supported to seize the Luhansk and much of the Donetsk oblasts since the February 24 invasion.
Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 after a pro-Moscow president in Kyiv was toppled amid mass street protests
Medvedev’s comments were aired a day after a Ukrainian official suggested that Crimea could be a target for U.S.-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) missiles, recently deployed by Kyiv with great effect as the Ukrainian armed forces continue to battle Putin’s troops.
Earlier on Sunday, Interfax news agency quoted Medvedev – who now serves as deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council – as telling World War Two veterans: ‘If any other state, be it Ukraine or NATO countries, believes that Crimea is not Russian, then this is a systemic threat for us.
‘This is a direct and an explicit threat, especially given what has happened to Crimea. Crimea returned to Russia.’
Medvedev did not elaborate on his comments, but has previously employed Moscow’s tried and tested nuclear sabre-rattling tactic, warning the U.S. and other Western nations of the dangers of attempting to punish a nuclear power.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday condemned Medvedev’s Doomsday comments as ‘intimidation’ and said it was Russia that would eventually face a Judgement Day, ‘not in a figurative sense, not as loud talk, but literally’.
Medvedev served four years as the Russian president from 2008-2012, but there is little doubt he operated as a puppet frontman while the government was essentially ran by Putin, who occupied the position of Prime Minister.
The former president has previously said Russian forces will continue fighting until they fulfil their stated goal of ‘denazifying’ and ‘demilitarising’ Ukraine.
He predicted the conflict would ‘undoubtedly lead to the collapse of the existing regime’ in Kyiv under the weight of the Russian offensive.
A house damaged by a Russian military strike, amid Russia’s invasion on Ukraine, in Kramatorsk, in Donetsk region, Ukraine on Thursday
The United States, which had said on Tuesday that it saw signs Russia was preparing to formally annex territory it has seized in Ukraine, promised that it would oppose annexation.
‘Again, we’ve been clear that annexation by force would be a gross violation of the UN Charter, and we would not allow it to go unchallenged. We would not allow it to go unpunished,’ State Department spokesperson Ned Price said at a regular daily briefing on Wednesday.
Lavrov is the most senior figure to speak openly of Russia’s war goals in territorial terms, nearly five months after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Feb. 24 invasion with a denial that Russia intended to occupy its neighbour.
Then, Putin said his aim was to demilitarise and ‘denazify’ Ukraine – a statement dismissed by Kyiv and the West as a pretext for an imperial-style war of expansion.
Lavrov told RIA Novosti geographical realities had changed since Russian and Ukrainian negotiators held peace talks in Turkey in late March that failed to produce any breakthrough.
‘Now the geography is different, it’s far from being just the DPR and LPR, it’s also Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions and a number of other territories,’ he said, referring to territories well beyond the Donbas that Russian forces have wholly or partly seized.
Meanwhile, concern that Russian supplies of gas sent through the biggest pipeline in Europe could be stopped by Moscow prompted the European Union to tell member states to cut gas usage by 15% until March as an emergency step.
‘Russia is blackmailing us. Russia is using energy as a weapon,’ EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said, describing a full cut-off of Russian gas flows as ‘a likely scenario’ for which ‘Europe needs to be ready’.
Putin had earlier warned that gas supplies sent to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which has been closed for 10 days for maintenance, were at risk of being reduced further. The pipeline is due to restart on Thursday.
Russia, the world’s largest gas exporter, has denied Western accusations of using its energy supplies as a tool of coercion, saying it has been a reliable energy supplier.
As for its oil, Russia will not send supplies to the world market if a price cap is imposed below the cost of production, Interfax news agency quoted Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak as saying on Wednesday.
EU diplomats meeting in Brussels agreed a new round of sanctions against Moscow, including a ban on importing gold from Russia and freezing the assets of top lender Sberbank. But Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy dismissed the sanctions as inadequate.
‘Russia must feel a much higher price for the war to force it to seek peace,’ Zelenskiy said in a late-night video address.
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