Putin’s aide threatens to ‘claim back’ Alaska in response to US sanctions

a man in a suit and tie
In this handout photo provided by The State Duma, The Federal Assembly of The Russian Federation, Speaker of the State Duma, the Lower House of the Russian Parliament, Vyacheslav Volodin speaks during a parliamentary session in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday. (The State Duma, The Federal Assembly of The Russian Federation via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — A top Kremlin official warned the U.S. Wednesday that it could face the “wrath of God” if it pursues efforts to help establish an international tribunal to investigate Russia’s action in Ukraine, while the Russian lower house speaker urged Washington to remember that Alaska used to belong to Russia.

Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy secretary of Russia’s Security Council chaired by President Vladimir Putin, denounced the U.S. for what he described as its efforts to “spread chaos and destruction across the world for the sake of ‘true democracy.'”

“The entire U.S. history since the times of subjugation of the native Indian population represents a series of bloody wars,” Medvedev charged in a long diatribe on his Telegram channel, pointing out the U.S. nuclear bombing of Japan during World War II and the war in Vietnam. “Was anyone held responsible for those crimes? What tribunal condemned the sea of blood spilled by the U.S. there?”

Responding to the U.S.-backed calls for an international tribunal to prosecute the perceived war crimes by Russia in Ukraine, Medvedev rejected it as an attempt by the U.S. “to judge others while staying immune from any trial.”

“It won’t work with Russia, they know it well,” Medvedev concluded. “That’s why the rotten dogs of war are barking in such a disgusting way.”

“The U.S. and its useless stooges should remember the words of the Bible: Do not judge and you will not be judged … so that the great day of His wrath doesn’t come to their home one day,” Medvedev said, referring to the Apocalypse.

He noted that the “idea to punish a country with the largest nuclear potential is absurd and potentially creates the threat to mankind’s existence.”

The warning follows a series of tough statements from Putin and his officials that pointed at the Russian nuclear arsenals to warn the West against interfering with Moscow’s action in Ukraine.

Medvedev, who served as Russia’s president in 2008-2012 when Putin shifted into the prime minister’s post due to term limits, was widely seen by the West as more liberal compared with his mentor. In recent months, however, he has made remarks that have sounded much tougher than those issued by the most hawkish Kremlin officials.

In another blustery warning to the U.S., Vyacheslav Volodin, a longtime Putin aide who serves as the speaker of the lower house of parliament, warned Wednesday that Washington should remember that Alaska was part of Russia when it freezes Russian assets. Russia colonized Alaska and established several settlements there until the U.S. purchased it from Russia in 1867 for $7.2 million.

“When they attempt to appropriate our assets abroad, they should be aware that we also have something to claim back,” Volodin said during a meeting with lawmakers.

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