A top ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin is making some waves globally by subtly threatening nuclear war with the West if Russia fails in its invasion of Ukraine.
Dmitry Medvedev, former President of Russia and current Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia, spoke with the press recently and said that a defeat of Russia in Ukraine could “trigger” a nuclear war, according to a Telegram post from Reuters.
Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, is also an ally of Putin. He said that an attempt to destroy Russia would signal the end of the world.
Experts are indicating that this new level of saber-rattling is not a sign of strength coming from Russia, it is actually a sign of weakness and insecurity.
Medvedev said this week, “The defeat of a nuclear power in a conventional war may trigger a nuclear war. Nuclear powers have never lost major conflicts on which their fate depends.”
He also said that NATO leaders should think about the potential risks that their policies create regarding Ukraine and Russia.
Medvedev functioned as President of Russia from 2008 to 2012. Putin was Prime Minister at that time. And then Medvedev became Prime Minister under Putin from 2012 until 2020.
The United States along with its allies in the West has given tens of billions of dollars in both military assistance and humanitarian aid to Ukraine since Russia began the invasion last February.
The Biden administration has warned Ukraine not to use U.S.-supplied weaponry for strikes inside of Russia. And the U.S. keeps stressing that it is focused on the defense of Ukraine, not the conquest of Russia.
But leaders in Moscow are framing the conflict as being between Russia and NATO.
“Today is an alarming time. We pray to the Lord that he bring the madmen to reason and help them understand that any desire to destroy Russia will mean the end of the world,” Kirill said.