Putin Ally Says Punishing Russia Could Lead to Nuclear Annihilation

Dmitry Medvedev, Russia's deputy Security Council chairman, warned on Wednesday that punishing Russia for war crimes threatened the "existence of mankind."

Medvedev, the former Russian president and prime minister, who is a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, described attempts to create tribunals to probe Russia's conduct during the invasion of Ukraine as "crazy."

"These proposals are not only legally void. The idea of ​​punishing the country that has the largest nuclear potential is absurd in itself," Medvedev said in a post on his Telegram channel.

Punishing Russia for war crimes "potentially threatens the existence of mankind," he added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev
Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chairman of the Security Council of Russia, warned on Wednesday that punishing Russia for war crimes threatens the “existence of mankind.” Pictured, Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Medvedev (R) attend the unveiling ceremony of the monument to Vladimir The Great on the National Unity Day outside of the Kremlin on November, 4, 2016 in Moscow. Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is investigating possible war crimes committed during Putin's invasion of Ukraine. World leaders have called for the Russian president to be held accountable amid Kyiv's rising civilian death toll.

Russia has been accused of intentionally targeting civilians, using indiscriminate methods of warfare and using cluster bombs and munitions anticipating disproportionate effects on civilians.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in March, a month after the invasion began, that Russia's military had committed war crimes in Ukraine.

"Our assessment is based on a careful review of available information from public and intelligence sources," Blinken wrote at the time. "As with any alleged crime, a court of law with jurisdiction over the crime is ultimately responsible for determining criminal guilt in specific cases. The U.S. government will continue to track reports of war crimes and will share information we gather with allies, partners, and international institutions and organizations, as appropriate. We are committed to pursuing accountability using every tool available, including criminal prosecutions."

Although Russia has been widely accused of deliberately striking civilian targets, Russia has consistently denied doing so, saying it's carrying out a "special military operation" against Ukrainian "neo-Nazis" and targeting only military infrastructure.

Medvedev also hit out at the U.S. in his lengthy Telegram post.

"What tribunal condemned the U.S. for spilling an ocean of blood [in Vietnam] and in other places? There was none! No supranational body was established to that end, yet the number of victims of the U.S.'s criminal policies is comparable to that of the victims of the Nazi regime," he wrote.

"So who's going to give us a show trial? Those who kill people and commit war crimes with impunity, but do not meet real condemnation in the international structures financed by them? Those who so firmly believed in their exclusivity and impunity? Those who believe they have the right to judge others, but be beyond the jurisdiction of any court?" Medvedev continued. "With Russia, this will not work. They understand this very well. Therefore, the filthy dogs of war stop by with their disgusting bark."

"But the United States and their useless mongrels should remember the words of Scripture," he added. "Judge not, lest you be judged; So that one day 'the great day of His wrath will not come to their house, and who can stand?"

Newsweek has reached out to the ICC for comment.