Russian President Vladimir Putin supervising naval exercises in Russia's Arctic North, August 2005
ITAR-TASS / Reuters

Just days into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Dmitri Medvedev, the former president and prime minister of Russia, took to social media to post a chilling message. He raged against Western sanctions on his country and suggested darkly that Russia could rip up some of its most important agreements with the West. He mentioned the New START treaty, the nuclear arms reduction agreement signed with the United States over a decade ago, but the threat was broader still: the sundering of all diplomatic ties with Western countries. “It’s time to hang huge padlocks on the embassies,” he wrote.


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