Russia’s former leader Dmitry Medvedev suggested Saturday that Moscow may annex more regions of Ukraine, as he marked one year since the Kremlin claimed four Ukrainian territories as its own.
Moscow held elections in the four regions this month, but does not fully control any of them and is currently battling a Ukrainian counteroffensive to take them back.
“The special military operation will continue until the complete destruction of the Nazi regime in Kyiv,” said Medvedev, who now serves as deputy chair of Russia’s Security Council.
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“Victory will be ours. And there will be more new regions within Russia,” he said.
Russia uses the term “new regions” to refer to the Ukrainian territories of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson that Moscow claimed to annex last September.
President Vladimir Putin addressed the nation earlier to mark the anniversary of the annexations, calling them a historic choice by the people living there to reunite with the “Fatherland.”
Medvedev, once considered a liberal reformer, has since become one of Moscow’s most hawkish voices in support of the Ukraine offensive and often denounces the West in inflammatory posts on social media.