Dmitry Medvedev is at it again. The deputy head of the Russian Security Council took to his Telegram channel on Wednesday, March 20 in response to Tuesday’s claims by Sergey Naryshkin, Director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), that France was preparing to deploy up to 2,000 troops to Ukraine. Even though the French Ministry of Defense had already decried the assertion as another example of Kremlin “systematic disinformation,” he felt compelled to say his piece.

He said that eliminating French military personnel in Ukraine would be a critical but not particularly difficult mission for Russia’s Armed Forces but would represent a humiliating defeat for Paris.

He went on: “Actually, for the success of our cause, it would be nice if the restless French dispatched a couple of regiments to Banderaland [a pejorative term for Ukraine]. It would be very problematic to hide such a number of servicemen, so systematically eliminating them would not be the most difficult task, but surely the most important one. But just think of the beneficial knock-on effect!”

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Medvedev crowed even more, saying: “With so many coffins to be delivered to France from a foreign country it would be impossible to hide the mass deaths of professional soldiers.

In reference to earlier claims that French members of Ukraine’s international legion had been killed by a missile strike in Kharkiv on Jan. 23, he said: “There will be no chance of continuing to get away with various lame excuses and speculations that mercenaries choose their own fate and that they are risking their lives at their own discretion.”

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It was his view that France’s military personnel would become full-fledged combatants and, therefore, legitimate targets as members of an “interventionist contingent.” Their destruction would be “a priority and a matter of honor” for Moscow’s Armed Forces.

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He had made similar comments in September while visiting Russian troops in occupied Donetsk when he said that British soldiers training Ukrainian troops and German factories producing Taurus missiles for Kyiv would be considered as legitimate targets.

“As for the cocks from the French leadership, it would be tantamount to being guillotined. They would be torn to pieces both by the enraged relatives and angry members of the opposition, who have been assured all along that France is not at war with Russia. Also, it would be a good lesson for other rambunctious fools in Europe.”

Medvedev then quoted lines from Pushkin’s 19th century poem: “To the Slanderers of Russia,” which he said would no doubt prove their timeless relevance once again:

“Then send your numbers without number,

Your maddened sons, your goaded slaves,

In Russia’s plains there’s room to slumber,

And well they’ll know their brethren’s graves!"

Pushkin’s poem was written in response to the West’s criticism of violent Tsarist suppression of uprisings in Belarus, Lithuania and Poland in the 1830s.

In his latest diatribe, Medvedev just reinforces the widely held view, both in Russia and internationally that Putin’s once moderate sidekick has changed from the president’s “less-evil twin” to becoming a “nuclear madman,” after the invasion of Ukraine. Reading Medvedev’s comments here and some of his earlier pronouncements – particularly the seven point “peace plan” he published last weekend – that opinion becomes ever more valid.

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