Deputy head of Russia's Security Council Dmitry Medvedev. EPA-EFE/ALEXEY MAYSHEV / SPUTNIK / KREMLIN POOL


Kremlin chief targets West while Ukraine rejects Putin’s ceasefire demands


Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Security Council and former president of Russia, called for the mass mobilisation of Russian society to inflict “maximum harm” on the West.

He said he wanted infrastructure and civil society targeted in order to create “chaos”.

The statements on June 13 came in response to the tough sanctions against Moscow imposed by the US and its allies, which forced Russia’s main stock exchange to halt trading in dollars and euros.

Action needed to be taken “not only by the authorities, the State, but all our people in general because [US and allies] have declared a war without rules”, Medvedev said on his Telegram channel.

“Every day we should try to do maximum harm to those countries that have imposed these restrictions. Harm their economies, their institutions and their rulers. Harm the wellbeing of their citizens, their confidence in the future.”

He added: “Are they complaining about our use of fake news? Let’s turn their lives into a crazy nightmare where they can’t distinguish wild fiction from the reality of the day, hellish evil from the routine of life.”

Medvedev also called on Russia to weaponise space and arm the West’s enemies.

Russian targets would, he said, include Western economies, energy infrastructure, transportation, banking, social services and conducting psychological warfare to heighten and exploit existing social tensions.

While Moscow has been seen as being behind cyber-attacks on the West, the Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly rejected accusations of sabotage.

Medvedev’s statements were followed a day later by Ukraine rejecting Russia’s demands that needed to be met to end the conflict.

On June 14, Ukraine dismissed ceasefire conditions announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin as “absurd”, saying he was trying to mislead world powers and undermine genuine peace efforts, Reuters reported.

Putin said in a speech Russia would end the war in Ukraine only if Kyiv agreed to drop its NATO ambitions and hand over the entirety of four provinces claimed by Moscow.

Ukraine’s foreign ministry described his words as “manipulative statements aimed at misleading the international community [and] undermining diplomatic efforts to achieve a just peace”.

“It is absurd for Putin, who planned, prepared and executed, together with his accomplices, the largest armed aggression in Europe since the Second World War, to present himself as a peacemaker,” the ministry added.

In separate comments, Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak said there was “no possibility to find compromise” between Putin’s statement and Ukraine’s conditions for ending the war launched by Russia.

“He is offering for Ukraine to admit defeat. He is offering for Ukraine to legally give up its territories to Russia. He is offering for Ukraine to sign away its geopolitical sovereignty,” Podolyak said via Zoom.

Putin spoke ahead of a conference in Switzerland over June 15-16 at which Kyiv will promote its own peace plan calling for the total withdrawal of Russian troops, including from the 18 per cent of its lands currently occupied by Russia.

Russia has not been invited to the Swiss event.