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Russian ex-president Medvedev threatens to unleash ecological disaster on Ukraine

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Russia’s former leader Dmitry Medvedev who is now deputy chairman of the country’s security council, visits the Prudboy range in the Volgograd region in Russia, on June 1, 2023. — AFP

After Moscow suffered two attacks within 24 hours from Ukrainian drones in the Black Sea with more assaults anticipated, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Saturday that his country would inflict an “ecological disaster” if the Eastern European state yearns for it, stating “that will stink for centuries”.

“If the Kyiv … want to create an ecological disaster in the Black Sea, they should get one on the part of their territory that will soon fall to Poland and that will stink for centuries after that,” said Medvedev.

“That will be the final judgement for them on the grain deal,” he said, as the Russia-Ukraine war has intensified since Moscow started its special military operation against Kiyv on February 2022.

The comments by the deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council came as Russia was attacked two times in the Black Sea incurring damage to its warship, with the latest one hitting a Russian oil tanker overnight in Crimea marking.

There were no casualties reported in the aftermath however the Crimean bridge and ferry transport were halted for hours, according to officials in Crimea.

A Reuters report suggested that the drone with 450 kg of explosives hit the SIG vessel as it transported fuel for the Russian military in Ukrainian territorial waters.

Medvedev spoke after Ukrainian sea drone attacks on a Russian warship in the port of Novorossiysk, and against a tanker.

Putin chaired a meeting of the Security Council Friday which Medvedev attended following the attack on Novorossiysk, in which the Olenegorsky Gornyak, a Russian Navy landing ship, was reported to have been badly damaged.

“Scumbags and freaks understand only cruelty and force. Apparently, the strikes on Odesa, Izmail, and other places were not enough for them,” Medvedev said in a post on his official social media accounts.

Russia has in recent weeks targeted the Black Sea port of Odesa, where the Ukrainian Navy is headquartered, and Izmail, Ukraine’s main inland port across the Danube River from Romania, damaging port infrastructure and grain facilities.

Moscow began the port attacks after a Ukrainian strike on the bridge which links Russia with Crimea, killing the parents of a teenage girl and causing serious damage.

The United Nations and some Western and African countries have urged Russia to return to the grain deal, something Moscow has said it will only do if and when an agreement designed to facilitate the export of Russian grain and fertilisers is implemented.

Medvedev suggested retaliatory Russian strikes against Ukraine for its sea drone attacks could end any chances of reviving the grain deal.

Top Russian security officials have suggested, without providing evidence, that Polish troops will be deployed to western Ukraine at some point, while Russia will hold on to and expand the territory it has unilaterally annexed in the south and east of Ukraine.

Kyiv, which is carrying out a counteroffensive, said that it remains committed to retaking all of its territory, including Crimea.



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