Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says no weapons are off the table if Ukraine comes for Crimea.
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev reportedly suggested on Friday that Moscow may look to send troops back to Kyiv even as Russian troops struggle to progress in eastern Ukraine.
The hawkish Russian elite and current deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council has repeatedly issued inflammatory statements since the war in Ukraine began. On Friday, he said “nothing can be ruled out” when it comes to Russia’s war effort.
“If you need to get to Kyiv, then you need to go to Kyiv, if to Lviv, then you need to go to Lviv in order to destroy this infection,” he told Russian news outlet RIA according to numerous reports.
However, the Putin ally did not stop at suggesting Russia could look to expand its war effort after already failing to take Kyiv early last year. He suggested any Ukrainian attempts to retake the occupied Crimean Peninsula would give Russia an excuse to use “absolutely any weapon.”
“If we talk about some serious offensives that are associated with an attempt to recapture the Crimea, it is clear that this is the basis for the use of all means of protection,” he told RIA Friday.
The comments came as reports of flagging Russian abilities in Bakhmut emerged Thursday and days after a drone attack targeted a Russian rail shipment in Crimea Tuesday, successfully destroying Russian cruise missiles.
Ukraine has made it clear they will not stop fighting Russia until all of its forces have withdrawn from occupied areas including Crimea, though Western defense officials remain concerned by Moscow’s repeated threats to turn towards its nuclear arsenals to achieve its war aims in Ukraine.
Medvedev has issued threats against the possibility of employing nuclear capabilities against not only Ukraine but its Western allies.
The former president also said that statements issued by Kyiv on its intent to retake Crimea were “propaganda” and said any attempt to “split off part of the state” is a direct assault on Russian territory.
“Therefore, draw your own conclusions: there are absolutely grounds for using any weapon here. Absolutely any,” he added.