Ardent ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday warned NATO allies that a defeat for Russia in Ukraine could provoke a nuclear war.
“The loss of a nuclear power in a conventional war can provoke the beginning of a nuclear war,” he said in a Telegram post as Western officials convene for another meeting with the Ukraine Defense Contact Group at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
“Nuclear powers have [never] lost major conflicts on which their fate depends,” the Kremlin official added.
Medvedev, who also served as president of Russia from 2008 to 2012, has repeatedly threatened the use of nuclear weapons.
Though his comments on Russia’s theoretical defeat in Ukraine may show that the Kremlin is increasingly worried about its ability to win Putin’s war as Western support for Kyiv continues to roll in.
The U.S. is expected to announce another $3 billion defensive aid package for Ukraine Friday after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin meets with allies in Germany, multiple U.S. officials told Fox News.
The announcement would come just two weeks after Washington committed a separate $3 billion package and pledged to send Bradley Fighting Vehicles and other military vehicles suited for combat like armored Personnel Carriers, Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles and High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has repeatedly pleaded with allied nations to send tanks to assist his troops on the front, particularly in the Donbas, though Abrams M1 tanks are still not expected to be included in the latest package.
Stryker armored combat vehicles, artillery and additional ammunitions are expected to be among the latest aid Washington will announce Friday.
The U.K., France and Poland have pledged to send tanks to Ukraine as the U.S. and Germany face mounting pressure to answer Zelenskyy’s calls for what is needed at the front.
Germany this week faced renewed international ire after it suggested it would only deploy tanks to Ukraine if the U.S. did so as well.
“Here are times where we shouldn’t hesitate or shouldn’t compare. When someone says, ‘I will give tanks if someone else will also share tanks.’ I don’t think this is the right strategy to go with,” Zelenskyy said in a Davos video conference Thursday reported DW.