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- Russia’s former president called for hypersonic missiles to be put close to Washington, D.C.
- Dmitry Medvedev lashed out after US officials said the Ukraine war is not “worthy” of Russians.
- Medvedev has offered some of Russia’s most vitriolic commentary throughout the war.
Russia’s former president lashed out at the US on Thursday in a statement calling for the country’s warships, armed with hypersonic missiles, to be stationed close to Washington, D.C.
Dmitry Medvedev, who serves as the deputy chair of Russia’s security council, made the remarks in a vitriolic Telegram post in reaction to an appeal to ordinary Russians from the US Embassy.
On Wednesday, the embassy had tweeted a Russian-language video that said President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is “not worthy” of Russians, per Reuters’ translation.
—Посольство США в РФ/ U.S. Embassy Russia (@USEmbRu) January 4, 2023
In response, Medvedev said: “The main gift of the New Year was the arsenal of Zircon missiles that went yesterday to the shores of NATO countries,” according to The Jerusalem Post’s translation.
He then called for the missiles to be stationed “somewhere 100 miles from the coast [of the US], closer to the Potomac River,” the publication reported.
Hypersonic missiles are exceptionally fast, and can travel on an unpredictable flight path, making them harder to intercept with traditional air defense systems. The Zircon has a range of between 310 and 620 miles, according to CNN, which cited the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance.
The 405-mile-long Potomac River passes through Washington, D.C., the seat of the US federal government.
On Wednesday, Russia announced that it was sending its Admiral Gorshkov warship, armed with Zircon hypersonic cruise missiles, on a long-range voyage that would pass through the Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, and Mediterranean Sea.
Medvedev has produced some of the most extreme and hawkish commentary since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, repeatedly touting his country’s nuclear arsenal and often going beyond the rhetoric offered by Putin.
Calling the US “sons of bitches” and “freaks” in his post on Thursday, he described the US Embassy’s tweet as a cynical effort to use Nazi propaganda methods, per Reuters’ translation.
The US has been one of Ukraine’s most important allies during the conflict, sending billions of dollars of aid and weaponry to the country.
Medvedev said that the sight of the Admiral Gorshkov off the coast of the US would “bring to their senses anyone who poses a direct threat to Russia and our allies,” according to Reuters.