Russian ex-president Medvedev cites a threatening message from Stalin in 1941 to push for more arms production by the Russian arms industry.
China has not yet sent weapons to Russia to replenish supplies depleted by Moscow’s war in Ukraine, US President Joe Biden said.
“I’ve been hearing for the last three months (that) China is going to supply significant arms to Russia… They haven’t yet. That’s not to say they won’t, but they haven’t yet,” Biden told a news conference Friday while visiting Canada.
“I don’t take China lightly. I don’t take Russia lightly,” he said, also suggesting that reports of a rapprochement between Moscow and Beijing were likely “exaggerated.”
During a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Moscow this week, Russian and Chinese leaders praised “the special nature” of their relations, but Beijing pledged not to support depleted Russian forces in Ukraine.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier this week also dismissed the deeper ties between China and Russia as a “marriage of convenience”.
Blinken said Russia is “very much the junior partner” in the relationship and noted that China had so far refused to supply Moscow with arms for its war in Ukraine.
“At this point, we haven’t seen them cross that border,” Blinken said of China.
Russian arms production took center stage Thursday as former President Dmitry Medvedev read aloud a threatening 1941 telegram from Soviet dictator Josef Stalin to leaders of Russian arms production — apparently in an attempt to boost domestic arms production.
Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, shared a video on Friday of Medvedev reading from Stalin’s World War II telegram during a meeting with subordinates and the Russian National Armaments Commission.
“If in a few days it turns out that you violate your duty to your homeland, I will begin to destroy you as criminals who have ignored the honor and interests of your homeland,” Medvedev read from a printed copy of Stalin’s 1941 letter to a factory that demands faster production of tank parts.
“It is unacceptable that our troops at the front suffer from the lack of tanks, while you, in the distance in the back, laze and hang around,” he read.
Dmitriy Medvedev read Stalin’s old telegram to his subordinates. Alluding to repeating Stalin’s methods? pic.twitter.com/Zt0ybPkT2B
— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) March 24, 2023
Medvedev, who is now the deputy head of the Russian Security Council, then turned to the group of leaders of the arms industry and said: “Colleagues, I want you to listen to me and remember the words of the generalissimo”.
Medvedev, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is a staunch and enthusiastic supporter of Moscow’s ruthless invasion of Ukraine.
Several Russian media outlets reported on his decision to quote Stalin and publish a video of him addressing the officials. Medvedev also posted excerpts from an interview with Russian journalists in which he claims that Russia is in fact waging a war against all of NATO.
Yevgeny Prigozhin – the founder of the Wagner mercenary force fighting for Russia against Ukraine – has been embroiled in a weeks-long bitter and public feud with Russia’s top army chief over the lack of ammunition supplied to his forces leading the battle for the Ukrainian army. city of Bakhmut.
Wagner’s boss accused the Russian Defense Ministry of deliberately refusing ammunition from his fighters in what he called a treacherous attempt to destroy the group of mercenaries.