Ukraine War Could Last For Decades: Medvedev
Pentagon officials have already been on record as predicting the Russia-Ukraine war could take "years". But on Friday a top Russian official and former president gave the longest prediction thus far.
Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev was quoted in Russian media as saying the war will last "decades, probably".
"This conflict will last for a very long time. For decades, probably. This is a new reality," he said as cited in RIA, while also describing that if Moscow agrees to a truce anytime soon the war would likely just erupt again.
At a moment the Ukrainian counteroffensive looms, though with doubts being expressed from Western officials that it could actually be successful, Kiev leaders have also voiced that they fear that any ceasefire would simply allow Russian forces to resupply and fortify their positions. Medvedev additionally explained:
"As long as there is such a power in place, there will be, say, three years of truce, two years of conflict, and everything will be repeated."
But it should be remembered that President Putin has yet to actually issue a formal declaration of war and full military mobilization of society. Pentagon officials have also this week suggested a stalemated battlefield situation will persist.
Medvedev's view on the prospect of negotiations, at a moment both China as well as African leaders are visiting mutual capitals to push for peace, is very bleak:
Negotiations, he said, with "the clown Zelenskyy" were impossible.
"Everything always ends in negotiations, and this is inevitable, but as long as these people are in power, the situation for Russia will not change in terms of negotiations."
Medvedev, who cast himself as a liberal moderniser when he was president from 2008-2012, now presents himself as a fiercely anti-Western Kremlin hawk. Diplomats say his views give an indication of thinking at the top levels of the Kremlin elite.
He also in a fresh interview reiterated his concerns for nuclear escalation, warning that if Ukraine were ever given nukes, Moscow would launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike. This week saw Russia and Belarus sign a deal to formalize plans to station tactical nuclear weapons on Belarusian soil, which President Lukashenko has hinted is a process that's already begun.
🇺🇦 This war in Ukraine was not "unprovoked." 🇺🇦— System Update (@SystemUpdate_) May 25, 2023
Jeffrey Sachs, long-time Washington insider, walks through a brief and important history of the decades-long prelude to Russia's invasion:
1. In the early 90s, the US promises Gorbachev that it will not expand NATO "one inch"… pic.twitter.com/oU6avtrY5a
"There are irreversible laws of war. If it comes to nuclear weapons, there will have to be a pre-emptive strike," Medvedev said, adding that any possible nukes given to Ukraine would result in "a missile with a nuclear charge coming to them."
"The Anglo-Saxons do not fully realize this and believe that it will not come to this. It will under certain conditions," he stressed. However, there's been no serious known proposal by any top Western officials to actually arm Ukraine with nukes.