In case you thought Russian aggression has its limits, think again:
Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, has threatened to launch a missile strike against the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which had earlier issued an arrest warrant for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin in connection with the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia.
Quote from Medvedev: "Gentlemen, everyone walks under God and missiles. It is quite possible to imagine the targeted use of hypersonic Oniks from the North Sea by a Russian ship at The Hague court building. Unfortunately, it cannot be shot down. And the court is just a poor international organisation, not the population of a NATO country. That's why they won't start a war. They are afraid. And no one will feel sorry for them. So, judges of the court, look carefully at the sky."
Strange how he suggests in the same rant that the ICC is ineffective and easily ignored, then suggests sending a RU warship to blow it up. It's pretty clear he knows that the impact of having Putin subject to an ICC arrest warrant is quite large and quite humiliating.
I don't know exactly what the goal is, but Medvedev seems to have been assigned the role of Minister of Hyperbole. He has also been the most vocal high-ranking official spouting nuclear rhetoric, as far as I have seen (Example link
For those not very familiar with him: He is a very long-time associate of Putin's, and was appointed by Putin when he became president to lead the state gas company Gazprom. When Putin reached term limits in 2008, Medvedev was endorsed by Putin as his preferred successor as president, resulting in an easy win. Putin is presumed to have remained extremely influential during Medvedev's presidency.
Since Russian term limits were for consecutive terms, not total terms, Medvedev then recommended Putin for president again in 2012. Afterwards, he was appointed by Putin as Prime Minister, resigned from that role in 2020 to facilitate other government reforms pushed by Putin, and was immediately appointed to the Russian security council. Although Medevdev has at times in the past seemed more friendly to the West than Putin, in retrospect, that seems like perhaps a planned public image to allow his presidency to point back to Putin as the leader really looking out for Russian interests
In short, Medvedev has a history of being a puppet for Putin.
So when Medvedev is saying shocking things to the media, my first assumption is Putin wants shocking things to be said, but has reasons not to say them himself.
At the present, it seems like his role is mainly to be a loose cannon to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt about things Russia could in theory do, but in reality would worsen Russia's position. This not only leaves the west trying to figure out how crazy Russia actually is before we do anything (which is arguably one of Russia's propaganda successes), but it also ensures someone prominent is always calling for Russia to do something more extreme than Russia actually does, helping Putin look more moderate and prudent to the Russian public.