ONE of Vladimir Putin’s closest allies issued a chilling new threat of nuclear catastrophe today.
Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev warned the West’s arming of Ukraine risks global devastation with cities reduced to radioactive rubble for centuries to come.
Medvedev – deputy chairman of Russia’s powerful security committee – spoke out days after Putin’s deranged nuclear threat in a major set piece speech last week.
His alarmist nuclear rhetoric in Russian daily Izvestia today was seen as a warning to Nato allies who are considering sending more weapons to Ukraine including F-16 jets.
Medvedev – a former president and prime minister of Russia – claimed the West wants to turn Ukraine into a “new anti-Russian Frankenstein”.
He said: “Of course, the pumping in of weapons can continue…. and prevent any possibility of reviving negotiations.
“Our enemies are doing just that, not wanting to understand that their goals will certainly lead to a total fiasco.
“Loss for everyone. A collapse. Apocalypse.
“Where you forget for centuries about your former life, until the rubble ceases to emit radiation.”
His comments were slammed as “inflammatory” by French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna.
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She said at the UN in Geneva: “Mr Medvedev, alas, has long accustomed us to irresponsible, outrageous statements that in no way reflect reality.”
Medvedev, 57, was Putin‘s Kremlin chief of staff, then a deputy PM in Putin’s second term as president.
He then became president himself in a controversial job swap during 2008 before Mad Vlad’s return as leader in 2012, with Medvedev installed as his PM until 2020.
Medvedev is also leader of Putin’s United Russia party and has recently been an outspoken blogger and cheerleader for the Ukraine war.
Earlier this month he threatened retaliatory nuclear strikes and vowed “the whole of Ukraine will burn” if Kyiv used long-range missiles.
Weeks earlier he warned of all-out nuclear war if Russia is defeated in Ukraine.
He posted on Telegram: “The defeat of a nuclear power in a conventional war may trigger a nuclear war.
“Nuclear powers have never lost major conflicts on which their fate depends.
“And this should be obvious to anyone. Even a Western politician with any trace of intelligence.”
Britain, Germany, Poland and Ukraine are mong several nations sending advanced battle tanks.
Ukraine is already hammering Russian targets with highly accurate long-range artillery rockets supplied by the US.
Moscow fears a new influx of advanced weapons would lead to a crushing defeat in seized territories in the east.
It came after PM Rishi Sunak said “nothing is off the table” when it comes to military support.
Last week Russia test fired a Satan-2 ICBM nuke missile on the day Joe Biden visited Kyiv to pledge his support.