BY SCOTT MCDONALD ON 7/17/22 AT 8:30 PM EDT
The deputy chairman of Russia’s defense council on Sunday said there would be a swift, tough action that would mean doomsday for Ukraine if Crimea is attacked. Dmitry Medvedev made his threat in a statement to Russian state media TASS.
“Some ecstatic, bloody clowns, who pop up there with some statements now and then, are trying to threaten us, I mean attacks on Crimea and so on,” Medvedev told a group of WWII veterans in Volgograd.
“Should anything of the kind happen, they will be faced with a doomsday, very quick and tough, immediately. There will be no avoiding it,” Medvedev continued. “But they keep on provoking the general situation by such statements.”
Russia invaded Crimea in 2014 and annexed the Ukrainian region that year. Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine is entering its 21st week, and some of the heaviest fighting recently has been in eastern Ukraine, close to Crimea.
Mikhail Podolyak, who’s a top adviser to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, said Medvedev was merely “a little man forgotten by history, trying to seem serious and scary, but in reality causing only pity. ‘A little more, and I’ll show you all!’ Show what? Kill another child?”
Zelensky responded to Medvedev’s “doomsday” remark by saying it wasn’t a sober remark, and that Ukrainians wouldn’t be intimidated.
“Today, another not-so-sober statement was made from Russia about the alleged “doomsday” for Ukraine. Of course, no one will accept such intimidation,” Zelensky said. “But look how cynical it is to say the same thing today – on the next anniversary of Russia’s destruction of the Malaysian Boeing in the sky over the Ukrainian Donbas.”
Medvedev’s “doomsday” remark was likely sparked by Ukrainian Minister of Defense Vadym Skibitskyi on Saturday saying that Russian military facilities in the occupied Crimea are on the target list to strike by Ukrainian troops.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down in eastern Ukraine by Russian forces on July 17, 2014. The shooting happened during the Russian invasion and occupation of Crimea. There were a total of 298 passengers and crew on board, none of whom survived. 193 of the passengers were from The Netherlands.
Then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called it terrorism by the Russians. Meanwhile in Russia, state media claimed that the Malaysian airliner was shot down by a Ukrainian Air Force Su-25 jet.
Zelensky said Sunday that even back in 2014—during the Crimea invasion and Malaysian Jet getting shot down—Russia was on its way to becoming a terrorist state.
“This will be the day of judgment for Russia. And not in a figurative sense, not as a loud saying, but literally,” Zelensky said.