Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has warned that Ukraine and the West will face a ‘Judgement Day’ response should they attempt to militarily dispute Russia’s control of Crimea.
The refusal of Ukraine and Western powers to recognize Moscow’s ownership of the peninsula poses a ‘systemic threat’ for Russia, the former president said yesterday, before declaring the Kremlin would hit back with maximum force if the territory is attacked.
‘Judgement Day come very fast and hard. It will be very difficult to hide,’ he announced, according to Russia’s TASS news agency.
Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 after a pro-Moscow president in Kyiv was toppled amid mass street protests.
The Kremlin then also backed pro-Russian armed separatists in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, which its army has since supported to seize the Luhansk and much of the Donetsk oblasts since the February 24 invasion.
Medvedev’s comments were aired a day after a Ukrainian official suggested that Crimea could be a target for U.S.-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) missiles, recently deployed by Kyiv with great effect as the Ukrainian armed forces continue to battle Putin’s troops.