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Russian Official Issues 'Apocalypse' Warning About Missiles Biden Is Sending Ukraine

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Russia would attack cities outside Ukraine if Ukraine uses the rocket systems it receives from the United States in retaliatory strikes on Russian territory, Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Security Council Dmitry Medvedev said.

“If those types of weapons are used against the territory of Russia, the armed forces of our country will have no other choice but to strike decision-making centers,” Medvedev said in an interview with the Al Jazeera, according to the Russian state-run TASS news agency.

Medvedev is a senior aide to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. He served as Russia’s President from 2008 to 2012 and as the country’s prime minister under Putin from 2012 to 2020.

“It is obvious what those decision-making centers are: the defense ministry, the general staff and so on,” Medvedev continued.

“But it should be understood that, in this case, the ultimate decision-making centers are regretfully not even on the territory of Kyiv. That is why it is certainly a threat that should be reckoned with,” Medvedev said.

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Medvedev did not specify what constitutes “the territory of Russia” in his warning, whether it includes Ukraine’s Crimea, which Russia occupied and annexed in 2014, and the recently occupied Kherson and Zaporizhia regions of Ukraine.

Medvedev also invoked biblical references to the book of Revelation in his interview with Al Jazeera, according to TASS. The Putin aide suggested that things to set in motion the arrival of the four horsemen of the apocalypse “have already happened.”

“One can have different attitudes to it, one can believe that the horsemen of the apocalypse are already on their way and all hope is in Almighty God. However, one can still try to tone down this international situation,” the Putin aide said.

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“We are ready to have a dialogue on all issues, but a respectful one that takes into account our sovereignty, our concerns, and is aimed at creating indivisible security; not in the interests of individual countries, but indivisible security,” Medvedev added.

Russian state media on multiple occasions has aired propagandists threatening Western countries, including the United States, with nuclear missile strikes if Ukraine turns the tide of the war against Russia.

The only response to those threats from the Biden administration has been Department of Defense Press Secretary John Kirby calling them “reckless and irresponsible rhetoric coming from a nuclear power” in April, according to reporting from Newsweek.

“Putin uses the ‘N-word’. I call it the ‘N-word’. He uses the ‘N-word’, the nuclear word all the time. That’s a no-no, you’re not supposed to do that,” former President Donald Trump said in an April interview with Piers Morgan.

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“He uses it on a daily basis. And everybody’s so afraid, so afraid, so afraid. And as they’re afraid he uses it more and more,” Trump continued.

Trump slammed President Joe Biden’s response to such nuclear threats, saying that should he have been president, his response would have been more assertive than Biden’s.

“Instead of (Joe) Biden saying, ‘Oh, he’s got nuclear weapons,” Trump said he would say, “we (the US) have better weapons, we have the greatest submarine power in history … we have better weapons. I would say we have far more than you do. Far, far more powerful than you and you can’t use that word ever again.”

Medvedev’s comments come as Biden confirmed Tuesday that the U.S. would be sending Ukraine medium-range advanced rocket systems capable of hitting targets 50 miles away that could help Ukraine “precisely strike key targets on the battlefield.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said following Biden’s announcement of the planned rocket system transfers that Ukraine has “given us assurances that they will not use these systems against targets on Russian territory, The Guardian reported.

The White House National Security Council on Tuesday confirmed that the missile systems Ukraine could soon receive can reach Russian territory, although they were not meant to be used for targets outside Ukraine, NBC News reported.

Former U.S. European Command Intelligence Engagement Division head Jonathan Sweet criticized the Biden administration’s restrictions on Ukraine’s use of the systems.

“President Biden cannot repeat President Lyndon Johnson’s mistake during the Vietnam War — watching the North Vietnamese march soldiers and equipment down the Ho Chi Min trail in Laos and Cambodia and doing nothing about it until they entered South Vietnam,” Sweet wrote in an opinion piece for The Hill,

“Providing HIMARS to Ukraine is the right decision, but telling Zelensky their use is restricted to ‘key targets on the battlefield in Ukraine’ keeps his soldiers and civilians in the kill zone with no means to retaliate. The option to conduct counter-fires cannot be restricted,” Sweet said in his opinion piece.

A Pentagon spokesperson said that the longer-range missile systems that would be sent to Ukraine include High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS M142, according to NBC News.

The artillery systems could help Ukraine shift the tide of the second phase of Russia’s brutal invasion into Ukraine, where Russia has been able to make considerable gains in the Donbas region through large-scale shelling of cities. Ukraine hitherto lacked multiple-launch, longer-range artillery systems that could help it counter Russia’s advances in Donbas and take back Russian-occupied territory.

The prospect of the U.S. sending rocket systems that could change the tide of the second phase of Russia’s invasion threw Russian officials into a meltdown.

Kremlin press spokesman Dmitry Peskov condemned the U.S.’s decision, saying, “We believe that the United States is purposefully and diligently adding fuel to the fire,” according to Reuters. Peskov added that Russia does not trust Ukraine’s assurances to the U.S.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov slammed the rocket system transfers, warning that such a decision risked involving a third country in the war. “It is a direct provocation (by Ukraine), aimed at involving the West in military action,” Lavrov said.

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Andrew Jose is a freelance reporter covering security, U.S. politics, and foreign policy, among other beats. He has bylines in several outlets, notably the Daily Caller, Jewish News Syndicate, and the Times of Israel.
Andrew Jose is a freelance reporter covering security, U.S. politics, and foreign policy, among other beats. He has bylines in several outlets, notably the Daily Caller, Jewish News Syndicate, and the Times of Israel. Speak to Andrew securely via Follow Andrew on Twitter: @realAndrewJose
Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service
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