Medvedev asserts Russia's 'right' to use nukes to defend its territory

Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev asserted on Tuesday that Moscow is entitled to use nuclear weapons in order to defend its territory as the country seeks to annex conquered areas of Ukraine.

Medvedev, who serves as deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, wrote on social media that the Kremlin would use its “most fearsome weapon” against Ukraine if “the threat to Russia exceeds the established danger limit.”

“I want to remind you — the deaf who hear only themselves: Russia has the right to use nuclear weapons if necessary,” Medvedev said, adding that the warning was  “not a bluff.”

According to Russia’s nuclear doctrine, Moscow can use the bomb when conventional weapons threaten “the very existence of the state” — a principle that could be applied to dangers faced by occupied territory incorporated via referendums.