epa10746814 Deputy head of Russia's Security Council and chairman of the United Russia party, Dmitry Medvedev (L). EPA-EFE/EKATERINA SHTUKINA / SPUTNIK / GOVERNMENT PRESS SERVICE POOL MANDATORY CREDIT


Medvedev warns of ‘nuclear response’ if Ukrainian offensive succeeds


Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on July 30 that Moscow “would have to use a nuclear weapon” if Ukraine’s apparent counteroffensive was successful.

While the situation on the battlefield is unclear, Russia claims it “would be forced” to use a nuclear weapon if Kyiv’s actions proved decisive.

Medvedev, who is now deputy chairman of the Russian security council, said: “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.”

In using the term “ukrobanderovtsy”, Medvedev was referring to Stephan Bandera, a far-right Ukrainian nationalistic leader, regarded as a hero by some and a Nazi by others, who was assassinated in 1959. When Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, Moscow alluded to “Banderites”, using rhetoric that was similar to Soviet-era policy of equating the development of Ukrainian national identity with Nazism due to Bandera’s  influence.

“There would simply be no other way out,” Medvedev said of a nuclear option. “That’s why our enemies must worship our warriors. They are keeping global nuclear fire from flaring up.”

Russia has decreed that nuclear weapons can be used in response to aggression that threatens the existence of the Russian state.

Kyiv claims its forces are making progress, albeit at a slower rate than desired. Russia is downplaying this and is trying to convince Western observers via social media that Ukraine is taking heavy losses.

On July 29, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated there had been no significant changes on the battlefield to report in recent days. He also suggested that Ukraine had had substantial amounts of military equipment destroyed since June 4.

On July 30, two buildings in Moscow were hit by Ukrainian drones.

It is not the first occasion that Medvedev has made such statements. He previously asserted that a “civil war” would erupt in the US in 2023 and that a Russian defeat in the ongoing Ukrainian war could potentially trigger the onset of a “nuclear war”.

Earlier this year, he threatened hypersonic missile attacks on the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague after the organisation issued an arrest warrant for Putin. Medvedev warned the ICC judges to be vigilant and “watch the skies closely”, insinuating a possible missile attack targeting them.

In May, Medvedev said the Baltic States were “Russian provinces” and Poland was “temporarily occupied”.