Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chair of the Russian Security Council, warned on Thursday that Russia losing the war in Ukraine could potentially trigger a nuclear war.
“Backward political good-timers in Davos reiterated: ‘To achieve peace, Russia must lose,'” Medvedev wrote on Twitter, referring to the World Economic Forum conference in Davos, Switzerland.
In Davos on Wednesday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said, “weapons are the way to peace,” as he called for more military aid for Ukraine. Medvedev said Western officials don’t understand how a nuclear power’s loss in a conventional war could escalate.
“None of them gets it that a nuclear power’s loss of a conventional war can lead to a nuclear one. Nuclear powers haven’t been defeated in major conflicts crucial for their destiny,” said Medvedev, who was Russia’s president from 2008 to 2012.
The Kremlin later said that Medvedev’s comments aligned with Russia’s military doctrine, which allows the use of nuclear weapons if Russia’s existence is threatened. “Read the nuclear doctrine, there is no contradiction there,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
Medvedev’s warning came after The New York Times reported that the US was warming to the idea of helping Ukraine attack Crimea, which Russia has controlled since 2014.
The report said the Biden administration was going to help Ukrainian officials plan a potential offensive toward the peninsula despite the risk of a major escalation from Russia.