The remarks by Security Council official Dmitry Medvedev come amid reports of an imminent counterattack by Ukrainian forces in the besieged city of Bakhmut.

Russian forces may have to advance as far as Kiev or Lviv in Ukrainesaid former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, amid reports of Moscow losing momentum in the war-torn city of Bakhmut.

Medvedev, the deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, has issued a barrage of strongly worded statements in the past, criticizing the United States and its NATO allies for what he describes as their efforts to disintegrate and destroy Russia.

“Nothing can be ruled out here. If you need to get to Kiev, you need to go to Kiev, if you want to go to Lviv, you need to Need to go to Lviv The Russian news agency (RIA Novosti) quoted Medvedev as saying on Friday, “in order to eradicate this infection.”

Medvedev denounced the International Criminal Court’s decision to issue an arrest warrant against President Vladimir Putin for alleged involvement in the abduction of thousands of children from Ukraine as legally invalid.

He noted that this step added to the “enormous negative potential” in the already strained relations between Russia and the West, and Arrest It would be tantamount to declaring war against Moscow.

The soft-spoken and suave Medvedev, who served as Russia’s president from 2008 to 2012 when term limits forced Putin to switch to prime minister, was widely seen by Western officials as more liberal than his mentor.

Since Putin sent troops into Ukraine more than a year ago, Medvedev has emerged as one of Russia’s most hard-line officials, regularly issuing hoarse remarks that include four-letter words and sound much harsher than those of old Kremlin hardliners.

Fighting in Bakhmut

Ukraine’s military said early Friday that 1,020 Russian servicemen had been killed in the past 24 hours when they launched unsuccessful attacks on the towns of Liman, Avdiivka, Marinka and Shakhtarsky.

But their main focus was still Bakhmut mining town.

The Ukrainian General Staff said in a report: “The enemy did not stop its attack on Bakhmut.”

Oleksandr Sersky, commander of the Ukrainian ground forces, said his forces would soon launch a counter-offensive after withstanding Russia’s winter campaign.

A Ukrainian soldier carries a portable anti-aircraft missile system in the area of ​​the fiercest battles with Russian invaders in Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 15, 2023. (AP Photo/Roman Chop)
A Ukrainian soldier carries a portable anti-aircraft missile system in the area of ​​the fiercest battles with the Russian invaders in Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine. [File: Roman Chop/AP Photo]

Russian Wagner mercenarieswho were at the forefront of Moscow’s attack on eastern and southern Ukraine, “are losing a lot of strength and losing momentum,” he said.

“Very soon, we will seize this opportunity, as we did in the past near Kiev, Kharkiv, Balaklia and Kobyansk,” said Cirsky, who listed last year’s Ukrainian counterattacks that recaptured swathes of territory.

There was no immediate response from Moscow to suggestions that its forces in Bakhmut were losing momentum, but Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin has issued statements in recent days. Warning of a Ukrainian counterattack.

Russian forces have been trying for months to seize Bakhmut as they seek to establish control over eastern Ukraine in the fiercest infantry battle in Europe since World War Two.

They were stopped by Ukrainian forces, as they did again at Avdiivka, Marinka and Shakhtarsky, the military said, among 80 Russian attacks repelled by Ukrainian defenders over the past day.

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