Skip to content
Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman and former President Dmitry Medvedev at a meeting at the Kremlin on Sept. 20, 2022. (Contributor/Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.

Become a member Support us just once

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev echoed Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in his threats against Ukrainians in Russian-occupied territories, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) wrote in its Feb. 22 report.

Medvedev, now the deputy chairman of Russia's Security Council, said in an interview with Russian media on Feb. 22 that Ukrainian citizens in occupied Ukraine who attempt sabotage against Russia should be "exposed and punished, sent to Siberia ... for re-education in forced labor camps."

"Medvedev’s usage of Stalin-era purge rhetoric is significant," the ISW said.

Stalin's regime infamously targeted "saboteurs" and dissidents in purges throughout the 1920s and 1930s. The Holodomor, a man-made famine that caused an estimated 3.5 to 5 million Ukrainian deaths, also took place under Stalin's command.

Ukrainians in illegally occupied regions of Ukraine already suffer deportations at the hands of Russian authorities. A BBC investigation on Jan. 8 found that Russia has deported and detained thousands of Ukrainian civilians, holding them without charges, trials, or access to legal counsel.

Many were arrested for failing to support Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine.

Medvedev also said in the interview that Russia should seize and occupy Kyiv “if not now then after some time.” He repeated pro-Kremlin propaganda claims that both Kyiv and Odesa are historically "Russian" cities.

The comments preceded a Russian attack against Odesa overnight on Feb. 23 that killed three people.  The city's historic center, a UNESCO world heritage site, has been badly damaged by Russian attacks.

"Medvedev’s comments continue to indicate that the Kremlin has returned to its domestic narrative that Russia is fighting the war to 'liberate its historic lands,'" ISW analysts said.

Medvedev earlier this month threatened to use nuclear weapons against the U.S., the U.K., Germany, and Ukraine if Moscow loses all occupied Ukrainian territories.

How Russia has attempted to erase Ukrainian language, culture throughout centuries
Editor’s Note: This is episode 3 of “Ukraine’s True History,” a video and story series by the Kyiv Independent. The series is funded by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting within the program “Ukraine Forward: Amplifying Analysis.” The program is financed by the MATRA Programme of the Embassy o…

News Feed

Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.