Ex-Russian president names ‘red line’ for direct war with NATO
Canadian and German troops teaching Ukrainians how to use Leopard tanks already qualifies as participation in the conflict, but sending fighter jets to Poland would mean “direct entry,” former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday.
Medvedev, who is also deputy chair of the Russian Security Council, warned the US and its allies that they can be treated as parties to the conflict “if, in addition to supplying weapons, they train personnel to operate them,” citing legal precedents from the early 20th century.
Tank training on EU territory already applies, Medvedev noted on Telegram, but if that expands to fighter jets based somewhere in Poland, “that would be direct entry of the Atlanticists into war against Russia, with all the consequences that entails.”
Everyone who made the decision to deliver those weapons or repair them, along with foreign mercenaries and military trainers, ought to be considered legitimate military targets.
According to Medvedev, only fear of this has so far restrained the “infantile” West from giving airplanes and long-range weapons to Kiev, though he predicted their desire to destroy Russia would prevail before long.
While the US, NATO and the EU talk about the “freedom-loving people of Ukraine,” Thursday’s attack on Russia’s Bryansk Region shows that they are supporting “Nazi bastards, terrorist scum who attack civilians,” Medvedev said.
“These are your proteges, Mr. Sunak, Macron, Scholz and Biden!” he wrote, addressing the leaders of the UK, France, Germany, and US. “And our attitude towards you is now the same as towards them. Your countries are now participants in the terrorist acts of the Ukrainian regime, and you are direct accomplices of terrorists.”
Though the West considered him a “liberal” during his 2008-2012 presidency, Medvedev has been blunt and outspoken about the military operation in Ukraine since it was launched in February 2022. Just last month, he warned the US that its talk about “strategic defeat” means Russia now sees the conflict as existential.
A group of Ukrainian soldiers crossed the border into Russia on Thursday morning, attacking two villages and shooting up a car with civilians inside. Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the “terrorist attack” and vowed to punish the perpetrators.