MOSCOW (Reuters) – Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Sunday that any British soldiers training Ukrainian forces in Ukraine would be legitimate targets for Russian forces, as would German factories that produce Taurus missiles if they supply Taurus missiles to Kiev.
Medvedev, who serves as deputy head of Russia’s Security Council and has become an increasingly hardline and anti-Western figure in Russian politics, said such activities by the West bring World War III closer.
In a post on Telegram, Medvedev first directed his anger at recently appointed British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps, who said in a newspaper interview that London wanted to deploy military trainers in Ukraine, in addition to training Ukrainian armed forces in Britain or other Western countries. at present.
“(This will turn) their trainers into a legal target for our armed forces… and we are well aware that they will be mercilessly destroyed. Not as mercenaries, but as British NATO specialists,” Medvedev wrote on Telegram.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak walked back Shapps’ comments on Sunday, saying there were no immediate plans to deploy military trainers in Ukraine.
“What the Defense Secretary was saying is that it might be possible one day in the future for us to do some of this training in Ukraine,” Sunak told reporters at the start of the ruling Conservative Party’s annual conference in Manchester.
“But this is a long-term thing, not the here and now. No British soldiers will be sent to fight in the current conflict.”
Medvedev also criticized those in Germany who want Berlin to supply Ukraine with Taurus cruise missiles that could hit Russian territory and are trying to limit Moscow’s supply of its military.
“They say this is in accordance with international law,” Medvedev said. “Well, in this case, the strikes on the German factories where these missiles are manufactured will also be in full compliance with international law.”
He added: “These fools are pushing us forcefully towards World War III,” repeating similar warnings he had previously issued. He said in July that the actions of the “absolutely insane” West meant that World War III was “approaching.”
Writing by Alexandre Marot. Edited by Guy Faulconbridge and David Holmes
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