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Russian Hawks Threaten Nuclear Strikes Over Putin Hague Warrant

RT and Rossiya Segodnya editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan. Sergei Bobylev / TASS

Prominent pro-Kremlin figures have lashed out at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for issuing an arrest warrant against President Vladimir Putin on war crimes charges.

Former President Dmitry Medvedev, who is now the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, on Monday threatened ICC judges with missile strikes.

“It’s quite possible to imagine a surgical application of a hypersonic Onyx from a Russian ship in the North Sea on The Hague courthouse,” Medvedev said Monday.

“So, judges, look carefully to the sky,” he warned in a post on the messaging app Telegram.

Medvedev suggested that the potential strike would not trigger a war because “the court is only a miserable international organization, not the population of a NATO country.”

His ominous warning echoed that of Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of the Kremlin-funded broadcaster RT.

“I’d like to see a country that would arrest Putin under the ruling of The Hague. In about eight minutes, or whatever the [missile] flight time to its capital,” Simonyan wrote on Twitter Friday.

The Kremlin on Friday dismissed the ICC’s arrest warrant as “void” because Russia is not a signatory of the Rome Statute, the UN treaty signed by 123 countries that govern the tribunal.

Still, Russian lawmakers lined up to slam the ICC ruling despite the low likelihood that Putin would be extradited to face the charges.

Moscow views “any attacks on the President of the Russian Federation as aggression against our country,” Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, said late Friday.

“The ICC is on the road to self-destruction with such an absurd decision,” wrote Senator Andrei Klishas, a sentiment echoed by Russia’s permanent representative in the UN, Vasily Nebenzya.

Meanwhile, Russia's Investigative Committee said it had opened a criminal case against ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan and three of its judges, calling their issuance of an arrest warrant for Putin "obviously illegal."

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