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War in Ukraine: Dmitri Medvedev evokes the capture of kyiv as a possible objective for Russia

2024-02-22T19:41:59.272Z

Highlights: Dmitri Medvedev has turned into a “go-to-war” until endist, much more brutal and verbose in his declarations than Vladimir Putin. He makes resounding declarations against the West or on nuclear power in a role-playing game aimed at attracting the sympathies of Russian nationalists but also to frighten public opinion in the West. “I can just say, 'Odessa, come home.' That's all. This is our Russian city, Russian,” he repeats.


It is “a Russian city”, declared the former Russian president in an interview with Tass, who also gave this term to Odessa.


Dmitri Medvedev's tone was as vindictive as ever this Thursday, but with an added touch of triumphalism.

The former Russian president and prime minister, now number two on the security council, was interviewed by the state news agency Tass to comment on the capture of Avdiivka in the Donetsk region - a

"great success"

achieved

"with brilliance”

by the

“valiant

Russian forces” – and its future political and military consequences.

Since the start of the war, the former leader, regularly accused of having been too “

liberal

” during his presidential mandate from 2008 to 2012, turned into a

“go-to-war”

until endist, much more brutal and verbose in his declarations than Vladimir Putin.

He makes resounding declarations against the West or on nuclear power in a role-playing game aimed at attracting the sympathies of Russian nationalists but also to frighten public opinion in the West.

To discover

  • Follow information on the war in Ukraine with the Figaro application

The Tass journalist asks him how far should Russian forces go in Ukraine?

Where Vladimir Putin would certainly have responded evasively by drowning Russian war objectives behind abstract concepts like that of

“denazification”

, Dmitri Medvedev lent himself to a much more precise geographical foresight exercise.

“Will it be kyiv?

Yes, it should probably be kyiv.

If not now, then at least after a while, perhaps in another phase of development of this conflict

,” explains the Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation.

And to justify himself by repeating the

“historical”

argument given at length by Vladimir Putin during his interviews:

“Kiev is a Russian city at its roots and, hence, is a threat to the existence of the Russian Federation.

An international threat, because kyiv is controlled by an international brigade of opponents of Russia, led by the United States of America.

All those who formally exercise their functions there are puppets.

All decisions are made abroad and at NATO headquarters.

It's completely obvious.

So yes, it could be Kiev

.

“Odessa, come home”

Dmitri Medvedev speaks no differently about the port city of Odessa, on the shores of the Black Sea.

"I can just say, 'Odessa, come home.'

That's all.

This is our Russian city, Russian

,” he repeats.

Here again, the former president becomes the

“official historian”

of a Greater Russia whose borders extend well beyond those of 1991:

“Russians and Ukrainians form one people.

These are not two fraternal peoples.

There are linguistic features, there is the classical Russian language, there is a South Russian dialect, there is a Little Russian dialect, including Surzhik, which is used there by a significant part of the population, there is a classical Ukrainian language.

But this does not mean that they are different peoples.

These peoples were together for a thousand years, they were separated by various historical events

.

Considering the capture of kyiv and Odessa amounts, for Russia, to considering maximalist war goals.

When the invasion began on February 24, 2022 - almost two years ago - Russian tanks had swooped in three different directions towards the Ukrainian capital, but the siege of the city of 4.5 million inhabitants continued. was transformed into a quagmire for the invading forces who had to withdraw from the northern part of the country on March 30.

Likewise, in the South, the Russian army had rapidly advanced towards Odessa by establishing a bridgehead across the Dnieper.

But it had not managed to maintain its position west of the river, forced to leave Kherson in the fall of 2022 after the successful counter-offensive by Ukrainian forces.

Since then, in the current phase of the war, the capture of kyiv and Odessa appears to be an unattainable objective for Moscow.

Also read “They want to return to their historic homeland”: when Putin talks about the “rights” of the Hungarian minority in Ukraine

This is still largely the case today, but the situation on the ground has nevertheless changed.

The front line certainly changes little, despite the capture of Avdiivka by the Russians, but the initiative now belongs to them throughout the 1000 kilometers where the two armies clash.

In the summer, the Ukrainians' failed counter-offensive towards the Sea of ​​Azov had a strong impact in kyiv and in the Western capitals which support Ukraine.

A support which is drying up, moreover, and restoring confidence to the Russians who are rearming.

Dmitri Medvedev goes even further by clearly considering the eventual disappearance of the Ukrainian state:

“If, as a result of everything that is happening, there is something left of Ukraine, then such a state probably has chances of surviving, even if they are not very great.

This is obviously not an issue today, but it will be on the agenda in some time.

This regime must fall, it must be destroyed.

What will remain in this territorial entity, I can't call it a country now, I don't know, maybe the Lemberg region

.

The former Russian president deliberately chose to use the German name of the city of Lviv in the far west of the country, capital of the Galicia region.

This projection is obviously war propaganda.

To date, the Russians have not shown a renewed capacity for maneuver deep inside the Ukrainian system, even if it is weakened.

But,

“from a Russian point of view, not only is victory plausible, but total victory has again become a possible option,”

writes, alarmist, Olivier Sueur, former deputy director of NATO, European Union and UN within the Ministry. of the Armies, in a recent article in the magazine

Le Grand Continent

.

Dmitri Medvedev's triumphalist speech and the mention of Kiev and Odessa as a possible war objective are part of this new Russian perception of the conflict, which is aimed as much at the Russians themselves as at the Westerners, to push them to

“renunciation by default”

– to use the title of Olivier Sueur’s article.

Already, according to a survey by the ECFR think tank, only 10% of Europeans still believe that Ukraine can still triumph.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2024-02-22

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