Should Putin be arrested
Medvedev: “Then rockets will fly at the Bundestag and the Chancellery”
03/23/2023, 12:55 p.m
Dmitry Medvedev’s patriotic tirades are regular. This time, the ex-Russian president is laying out his “Greater Russia” dreams — and threatening war with the West if President Putin is arrested. Such an arrest is highly unrealistic.
During his presidency from 2008 to 2012, Dmitry Medvedev was still seen by many in the West as something of a beacon of hope – with a more liberal agenda than the previously ruling Vladimir Putin, who, however, returned to the presidency after four years and installed Medvedev as prime minister. However, the image of a supposedly moderate Medvedev has changed radically, especially since the large-scale attack on Ukraine in February 2022. Today, nothing remains of the partnerships from his reign with the West. The ex-president is now mainly noticed with propaganda statements and insults.
According to Medvedev’s recent words, Ukraine should be a part of historical “Greater Russia”. However, after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine declared itself independent – in a referendum over 90 percent voted in favour. The country is internationally recognized as a sovereign state – but not by the Kremlin leadership, which illegally annexed parts of Ukraine in 2014 and 2022.
The “Greater Russia” dreams of Putin and Medvedev would also include a merger with Belarus. As early as 2011, the current President said that this was “desirable”. A leaked paper from the Moscow presidential administration recently surfaced that is supposed to show how Belarus can be gradually annexed to Russia by 2030.
Medvedev told the state news agency TASS that the West does not like the independence of Russia and China and will therefore try to divide Russia into smaller and weaker states in the coming decades. He also sees no prospects for a revival of relations between Russia and the West in the near future. “I believe that sooner or later the situation will stabilize and communication will resume, but I sincerely hope that by then a large part of these people (Western leaders) will be retired and some will be dead,” Medvedev said .
Russia would see Putin’s arrest as a declaration of war
Any attempt by a country to arrest President Vladimir Putin on the basis of an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court (ICC) will also be viewed by Russia as a declaration of war. If, for example, an arrest were made in Germany, “all our means, rockets and others, will fly to the Bundestag, the Chancellery and so on”. The ICC had issued the arrest warrant for the alleged kidnapping of thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia. In a first reaction, the Kremlin described the arrest warrant as “void” and “meaningless”. Russia does not recognize the ICC – but if Putin were to travel to one of the signatory states, he would face arrest. However, such a journey is unrealistic.
Also on his former partnership with the West Medvedev told TASS. As a student, he once believed that Russia would “have a normal partnership with the West because we are not enemies and have no ideological differences because we no longer subscribe to hard communist ideas. We have a market economy, democratic elections and all such things”. Later, however, he recognized that the partnership with the West was only “an idea bordering on illusion”.
Contrary to what Medvedev says, elections in Russia are not democratic. Opposition politicians are intimidated and imprisoned, the press is harassed, and in the past there have been numerous reports of vote manipulation.
In his tirades over the past few months, Medvedev has described Annalena Baerbock as an “uneducated woman.” He wrote about citizens who fled Russia “may their bones rot abroad” – and the ex-president reacted to US arms deliveries with the words “all of Ukraine that remains under Kiev’s rule will burn”. Insinuations that Russia could use nuclear weapons also caused a stir.