War in Ukraine could last ‘decades,’ ex-Russian leader says

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who regularly makes blunt remarks about the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine, said Friday that the conflict was likely to drag on for years.

“This conflict is for a very long time. It’s all for decades, probably,” said Medvedev, who is now the deputy head of the Russian Security Council — directly under Russian President Vladimir Putin — during a visit to Vietnam, according to Russian state-owned newswire RIA Novosti.

“As long as there is such power [in Kyiv], there will be, say, three years of cease-fire, two years of conflict, and then everything will happen again,” he added.

While Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has expressed hopes of ending the conflict as early as this year, his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin has said the war would be a “long process.”

U.S. officials have similarly said the struggle could drag on for years, joining the list of “frozen” conflicts, like the one between North and South Korea.

Medvedev often makes controversial statements about foreign policy, which critics say are part of an attempt to retain some political significance while appearing more radical than Putin, thereby legitimizing the Russian president’s decisions.

Earlier this month, Ukraine’s foreign minister said Medvedev shouldn’t drink and post on social media.

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