Former Russian President and Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev hinted that Moscow might resort to nuclear strikes should it fail to win its war with Ukraine by conventional means.
“The loss by a nuclear power in a conventional war can provoke the outbreak of a nuclear war… The nuclear powers do not lose major conflicts on which their fate depends,” he wrote on Telegram.
Medvedev, who served one term as Russia’s leader from 2008-2012, has been one of the most vitriolic proponents of the Russian invasion and has often framed the conflict as a larger, existential struggle between the Kremlin and the Western powers.
His remarks come as Russia appears to be making gains in the hotly contested Donbas region, with Russian forces storming Soledar, potentially threatening the Ukrainian position in Bakhmut. Analysts worry that a Russian victory there could result in a domino effect in which Moscow forces Ukraine to retreat further into its interior.
On the western side, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is frantically encouraging his allies in NATO to provide Kyiv with heavy tanks to enable Ukraine to break the near-stalemate on the front line and prepare for an anticipated offensive from Russia.