Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has warned that British soldiers training Ukrainian troops in Ukraine would be legitimate targets for Russian forces along with German companies building Taurus missiles.
Medvedev, deputy chairman of Russia's Security Council, in a post on Telegram on Sunday first directed his ire towards recently appointed British Defense Minister Grant Shapps, who stated in a newspaper interview that London wants to deploy military instructors to Ukraine, in addition to training Ukrainian armed forces in the UK or other Western countries.
“(This will) turn their instructors into a legal target for our armed forces,” Medvedev wrote in his post. “Understanding perfectly well that they will be ruthlessly destroyed and not as mercenaries, but namely as British NATO specialists,” he added.
More than 20,000 recruits from the Ukrainian armed forces have already received training in the UK since the beginning of 2022 under the British-led Operation Interflex.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday met with Grant Shapps discussing ways to further boost Ukraine’s military, including its air defenses.
“I am profoundly grateful to the UK for all the financial, humanitarian, and military support, including crucial long-range capabilities. We discussed further defense cooperation and steps to strengthen Ukraine’s air defense,” Zelensky said.
Medvedev also addressed Germany, condemning those pushing for Berlin to supply Ukraine with Taurus cruise missiles that have the capability to strike Russian territory.
“They say this is in accordance with international law. Well, in that case, strikes on German factories where these missiles are made would also be in full compliance with international law, he said.
“These morons are actively pushing us towards World War Three,” Medvedev added.
Medvedev emphasized that such actions by the West increase the likelihood of World War Three.
Those advocating such actions are actively pushing the world closer to a devastating global conflict, he said.
With tensions escalating, his remarks highlight the growing tensions between Russia and the West in the ongoing Ukraine crisis.
The US-led Western allies began flooding Kiev with weapons and ammunition shortly after Russia launched its “special military operation” in the ex-Soviet republic in February 2022.
Moscow has repeatedly warned Western leaders against the continued supply of weapons and munitions to Ukraine, pointing out that such measures will not stop Russian troops from defending its objectives and that arming Kiev would only prolong the war.