“Russia ready for direct confrontation with NATO”: Should we be worried about Medvedev’s latest shock trip?

On social networks, the current deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council condemned the supply of Western weapons to Ukraine, Including the latest American Abrams tanks. For Medvedev, facing Western intervention in the conflict, Russia will not make a choice anytime soon, and “Direct conflict with NATO”. Former President Nato”During World War II, it was transformed into an openly fascist group like the Axis Powers (Named after the alliance between Germany, Italy and Japan, editor’s note)but big”. And Medvedev warns: “Even if the end result is heavier for humanity than 1945, we are ready.”

“Those who serve Vladimir Putin can assassinate him”

If this is not his first shock release, how can we make sense of this new threat from the former Russian president and, after all, should we care? Questioned by us, Laetitia Spetschinsky, an expert on Russia (UCLouvain), puts such ideas into perspective. Interview.

How to make sense of Medvedev’s recent brutal comments?

Since Dmitry Medvedev no longer holds the presidency, this trip can be understood as one of countless excesses. Especially after the conflict in Ukraine, he has accumulated a lot of travel, amplifying ideas in Russia. He uses his vision to say out loud what others don’t even think out loud. But personally it doesn’t appeal to me.


Because Medvedev, despite his travels and excesses, has largely lost his credibility in the Russian establishment.

How to explain it?

Many hypotheses and rumors are circulating. On the one hand, he is the head of state but holds the most junior position in the presidential administration. There may be some bitterness about his political fate. He represents practically nothing politically.

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Besides, he himself is the bearer of a story that does him a great disservice politically. He was president for only four years. He took over the reins of the Kremlin in 2008 under Putin and with Putin as prime minister. By the time he settled down, he had actually done some big deals. But by 2011, it was already more or less over as Putin returned to the front to assume the role of president a year later. So it will not leave an indelible mark on Russian political history.

Why this drastic change in its communication?

You should know that Medvedev was considered a very pro-European and pro-Western president. This comes from the sensational agreements he concluded, especially the reconciliation with the United States (2009) or the birth of the Partnership on Modernization with the European Union.

But now he must prove his loyalty to the new anti-Western “taxa”. Because if we evaluate his performance as president he will be considered pro-Western or traitor. So, he now consoles himself with the opposite extreme. Perhaps there is an element of personal disillusionment, or perhaps as a new convert he outgrows his masters … mental instability and internal pressures too. In summary, several hypotheses have circulated regarding this communication shift.

Could he still want a new, more important role?

As long as we are in the system, we can like anything. But he has already had his time, and for now, his position in the Russian administration has not changed. He is subordinate to the Security Council.

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How are these shocking ideas perceived by the Russian people?

It can have two types of resonance. Among those who go to war, he is seen as brave. Because there is a whole segment of Russian society that feels that the war is not currently being waged with sufficient determination and brutality. Some are disappointed by the length of the conflict and Putin’s reticence.

Besides, there are other segments of the population that consider Medvedev’s ideas too exciting and dangerous. In particular he raises both the nuclear threat and the idea of ​​direct confrontation with NATO. Because if some Russians consider it perfectly reasonable to solve the Ukrainian problem according to the Russian reading of affairs, they do not want to engage in a long and painful war with NATO. Because it would mean a huge mobilization and the end of the good life in Russia.

On the Western side, is Medvedev being taken seriously or is he being called crazy?

I’ll go for the second option. Madmen, like those among us, matter only when they exercise real power. But Medvedev doesn’t have one, so I don’t think he’s too worried. We are more concerned about the warfighters who actually have access to men and equipment. We are concerned about senior officers of the Russian military taking direct action on the ground and war crimes. But Medvedev is only in the Kremlin sphere. I don’t think he cares much about western governments.

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