Dimitry Medvedev has taken an increasingly hard-line stance in recent years, having initially been seen as more moderate than Vladimir Putin when he replaced him as president
Image: via REUTERS)
A key ally of Vladimir Putin has warned that the “Horsemen of the Apocalypse are on their way” in a thinly-veiled swipe at western leaders.
Dmitry Medvedev warned that Moscow would attack cities in the west if Ukraine used missiles provided by the United States to attack Russia.
The 56-year-old, who served as president of Russia from 2008-2012 after Putin was forced to stand down due to term limits, is currently deputy head of Russia’s national security council.
Last week he issued a chilling statement which took aim at Ukraine and its allies.
He said: “I am often asked why my Telegram posts are so harsh. The answer is I hate them. They are b******s and degenerates.
“They want death for Russia. And while I’m alive, I will do everything to make them disappear.”
That followed an earlier warning that Russia was ready to expand its offensive if its territory came under attack from missiles supplied to Ukraine, reports the Times.
“The Horsemen of the Apocalypse are already on their way,” Medvedev said.
Former opposition MP Dmitry Gudkov has suggested Medvedev is preparing for a move on power should Putin’s time in charge come to an end.
His anti-Western rants are seen as appealing to hardliners in the Russian military and security structures, who have regarded him as too-liberal and a lightweight, and to seek to regain the trust of Putin.
But it is unclear that he would triumph in a power struggle if Putin is forced to bow out.
It comes amid speculation over Putin’s deteriorating health, with claims he is fighting blood, thyroid or abdominal cancer, and suggestions he has early stage Parkinson’s disease.
The Russian President will be ‘incapacitated’ and replaced in coup within three months, an ex-MI6 spy has claimed.
Christopher Steele says Putin could have just months left to live, saying there are already signs he is in poor health.
He told BBC Radio 4 The World at One show: “I don’t see him [Putin] being in power for more than three-six months from now,” Steele said.
“There are signs his health is failing for a start which will be a factor in this.
“And if what we’re being told by the CIA and others and our own sources is true then it looks as though he could become incapacitated over that sort of period of time.