Russian ex-president Dmitry Medvedev has caused a stir by asking aloud whether the state of Ukraine will still exist in two years.
Medvedev, who is now deputy chairman of the Russian Federation’s Special Security Council, commented on the Ukrainian government’s desire to sign a two-year contract to purchase US liquefied gas. Medvedev expressed his surprise at the intention because “who claims that Ukraine will still be on the world map in two years?”
Medvedev was president of Russia from 2008 to 2012. He was regarded as a young innovator but also as a ‘substitute’ for Vladimir Putin, who was not allowed to be re-elected indefinitely. Medvedev has recently made several statements in which he has been condescending about neighbouring Ukraine.
Some observers fear that such statements point to the intended destruction of Ukraine as an independent state. But according to the Kremlin, the goal of the “military operation” is to eliminate Ukrainian military capabilities and liberate the eastern region of Donbas.
With the Russian attack on the neighbouring country that began on February 24, the elimination of the pro-Western Ukrainian government appeared to be a main objective of the attack, and attacks have also been carried out in the capital Kyiv. But that government led by President Volodymyr Zelenski has already announced that it no longer wishes to become a member of NATO.
The Russian forces are now trying to capture the entire eastern region of Donbas and retain the southeastern regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhya. The regions would actually be annexed and, as before, Crimea would no longer come under Kyiv’s control. Some observers see indications that the Kremlin actually wants to subjugate the entire country in stages.