Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Security Council and former Russian President, issued a stark warning on Friday, cautioning that Russia would view any deployment of a British military contingent to Ukraine as a declaration of war.
Response to British Prime Minister’s Visit to Kyiv:
The warning came in response to British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s visit to Kyiv, during which he announced increased military funding to support Ukraine in acquiring new military drones.
Medvedev, known for his hawkish stance, expressed concerns about the implications of such a move.
In a message conveyed through the Telegram messaging app, Medvedev stated, “I hope that our eternal enemies – the arrogant British – understand that deploying an official military contingent to Ukraine would be a declaration of war against our country.”
Reference to Recent Incidents in Belgorod:
Medvedev drew attention to recent events in Belgorod, a city in southern Russia near the Ukrainian border. He mentioned an incident on December 30, where Russia reported civilian casualties from what it described as an “indiscriminate” Ukrainian strike using cluster bombs.
Medvedev questioned how the Western public would react if a similar situation occurred with Sunak’s delegation in Kyiv.
On December 30, Russia reported at least 20 people killed, including two children, and 111 injured in the incident in Belgorod. Russia accused Ukraine of directing fire at military targets in response to a massive Russian bombardment of Ukrainian cities the previous day.
Medvedev’s Evolution from Liberal Moderniser to Anti-Western Hawk:
Medvedev, once seen as a liberal modernizer during his presidency from 2008-2012, has transformed, now positioning himself as one of the fiercest anti-Western Kremlin hawks. His statements provide insight into the hawkish thinking prevalent at the top of the Kremlin.