Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said the war in Ukraine could last decades and could see long periods of fighting punctuated by truces, describing Ukraine as a Nazi state.
Medvedev, a deputy head of Russia's Security Council, said in remarks during a visit to Vietnam: "I think this conflict will be prolonged, maybe decades, this is a new reality and a new life situation."
"As long as such an authority exists in Ukraine, there will be, for example, three years of truce, two years of conflict, and then everything will be repeated," he said.
Medvedev said in January that a nuclear war could erupt if Moscow was defeated.
Reuters news agency quoted Russian news agencies as saying that Medvedev stressed that his country would be forced to launch a preemptive strike if the West supplied Ukraine with nuclear weapons.
"There are irreversible rules of war. "If it comes to nuclear weapons, a preemptive strike is needed."
Disappearance of Ukraine
In the same context, Medvedev presented scenarios for the stages of Ukraine's disappearance, saying on his Telegram channel, "I recently wrote why Ukraine disappears, now is the time to say how Ukraine will disappear, and about the danger of renewed conflict in Europe and in the world."
That will depend on the path followed by the disintegration of this "moribund state" as a result of its losing military conflict, he said.
Medvedev explained that there are two paths to the disappearance of Ukraine, the first of which is the path of the relatively slow erosion of the Ukrainian state with the gradual loss of the remaining elements of state sovereignty. The second is the path of immediate collapse with the simultaneous annihilation of all manifestations of the state, and this collapse will be in likely scenarios.
He stated that the western regions of Ukraine are likely to be under the control of a number of EU countries with the subsequent "annexation" of these territories by receiving countries.
He predicted that the remaining neutral territories would declare their succession to the former Ukraine, its international legal personality and its intention to return the lost territories by all means, and said it could fight a war leading to "a full-fledged Third World War."
He also put forward another scenario, in which he predicted that Ukraine would disappear after the end of the war, in the process of its division between Russia and a number of European Union countries, where a "government of Ukraine in exile" is formed in one of the European countries.