Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has raised the specter of a nuclear attack on Ukraine if Kyiv's counter offensive becomes a success. The open threat of a nuclear strike came on Sunday, when Ukraine launched a drone attack on Moscow, which resulted in damage to buildings and the temporary closure of an airport.
"Imagine if the.. offensive, which is backed by NATO, was a success and they tore off a part of our land then we would be forced to use a nuclear weapon according to the rules of a decree from the president of Russia," said Medvedev, who is strong ally of President Vladimir Putin.
According to Medvedev, who is deputy chairman of Russia's Security Council, an attack that threatens the Russian state can be defended by a nuclear counter strike. Medvedev had made threats of nuclear strike against Ukraine earlier as well.
"By repelling the collective enemy's counteroffensive, our Armed Forces are defending Russian citizens and our land. It is quite clear to all decent people. Besides that, they are preventing global conflict. Just imagine that the NATO-supported ukrobanderovtsy's offensive turned out successful, and they took away a part of our land: then we would have to, following the President's degree of 02.06.2020, use the nuclear weapon. There would simply be no other way out. That's why our enemies must worship our warriors. They are keeping global nuclear fire from flaring up. Congratulations on Russia's Navy Day!" Medvedev wrote on social media.
'War Coming to Russia'
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said the war was now coming to Russia, referring to the drone strike on Moscow. "Gradually, the war is returning to the territory of Russia – to its symbolic centres and military bases, and this is an inevitable, natural and absolutely fair process," Zelensky said, according to Euro News.
Zelensky also warned Ukrainians that Russian attacks on the country's energy infrastructure will intensify in the winter. "It is obvious that this fall and ... in the winter the enemy will try to repeat the terror against the Ukrainian energy industry. We should be ready for this in any case," Zelensky said.
'Nato Can't Offer Deterrence'
Meanwhile, President Putin said the Kremlin was going ahead with beefing up its military strength in the second year of the war in Ukraine. Speaking at a ceremony in St Petersburg to mark Russia's annual Navy Day, Putin said the Russian Navy would get 30 more new ships this year.
In September last year, Medvedev had made a nuclear threat against Ukraine, adding that the Nato alliance is incapable of offering a credible deterrent against Russia as they fear their own safety.
Medvedev justified the rhetoric, saying that as per Russian law, it is legitimate for the country to launch a nuclear attack even if there is no first strike against it. He says that even if the country is attacked with conventional weapons that threaten "the very existence of our state," Moscow can authorize the use of nuclear weapons.