Russia’s former leader Dmitry Medvedev said if Putin were arrested in Germany, for example, “all our missiles … would fly to the Bundestag.” Meanwhile, Russia has launched a new military satellite. DW has the latest.
Russia’s ex-President Dmitry Medvedev has warned that any attempt to arrest President Vladimir Putin abroad would be seen as “a declaration of war.”
The International Criminal Court (ICC) based in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for Putin last week for alleged war crimes.
“Let’s imagine — obviously this situation which will never be realized — but nevertheless lets imagine that it was realized: The current head of the nuclear state went to a territory, say Germany, and was arrested,” Medvedev said in a video posted to Telegram late on Wednesday.
“What would that be? It would be a declaration of war on the Russian Federation,” he said. “And in that case, all our assets — all our missiles et cetera — would fly to the Bundestag, to the Chancellor’s office.”
Medvedev, who served as Russia’s president from 2008 until 2012 and now deputy chairman of Russia’s security council, has made increasingly hawkish statements about the invasion of Ukraine.
Russia, which is not a party to the ICC, initially called the arrest warrant “null and void.”
On Monday, Russia’s Investigative Committee opened its criminal investigation in to the ICC’s chief prosecutor Karim Khan. It said Khan’s actions may have breached two Russian laws relating to accusing an innocent person of a crime, and “preparing an attack on a representative of a foreign state enjoying international protection, in order to complicate international relations.”
On Wednesday, the ICC’s legislative body condemned “threats” against the tribunal over its warrant.
“The presidency of the assembly regrets these attempts to hinder international efforts to ensure accountability for acts that are prohibited under general international law,” it said in a statement.
EU set to sign off on Ukraine ammunition deal
Leaders of the European Union are meeting in Brussels on Thursday for the Europe Council summit, where they are set to formally sign off on a deal to fast-track €2 billion ($2.1 billion) worth of ammunition deliveries to Ukraine.
Lawmakers hope to deliver 1 million rounds of artillery shells to Ukraine this year.
“We will, as always, reaffirm our unwavering commitment to assist Ukraine,” Charles Michel, president of the European Council, said in his invitation to the summit.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will attend the summit for a working lunch on Thursday, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is also scheduled to address the meeting via video.
Russia launches military satellite
Russia launched a new military satellite into space on Thursday morning, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
Officials said the satellite was “a medium-class Soyuz-2.1a launch vehicle carrying a spacecraft for the Russian Defense Ministry was launched from the Plesetsk launch site in Arkhangelsk Region by combat crews of the Space Forces.”
Russia regains territory in Luhansk region
Russian forces have made inroads in the north of the Luhansk region of Ukraine, according to an intelligence update released by the British Defense Ministry.
“Russia has partially regained control over the immediate approaches to Kremina town, which was under immediate Ukrainian threat earlier in the year,” the British Defense Ministry said.
“In places, Russia has made gains of up to several kilometers.”
According to the intelligence update, Russia’s likely intent in the north-east of Ukraine nevertheless remains defensive.
“Commanders probably fear this is one of the sectors where Ukraine could attempt major offensive operations,” the ministry said.
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