Dmitry Medvedev has warned that humanity stands on the brink of nuclear oblivion.

Dmitry Medvedev has issued a chilling nuclear threat

Dmitry Medvedev has issued a chilling nuclear threat

The former Russian president is a close ally of Vladimir Putin and made the chilling threat about the risk of World War III amid rising tensions between Russia and the West due to the Ukraine war.

Fears have been raised that Putin could deploy nuclear weapons in Ukraine as the chances of winning the war ebb away but Medvedev has blamed the West for putting the world on the brink of Armageddon.

The politician - who is the Deputy Head of Russia's powerful Security Council - said: "The world is sick and is on the edge of the Third World War. And although we tried to avoid war for 30 years, it was imposed on us."

Medvedev added that the threat posed by climate change is nothing compared to that of nuclear war "which exists today unfortunately".

He told an audience in Moscow: "It's growing with every day for known reasons. The Western world was unfair to our country to a large extent. Did they hear us? No, they didn't."

Medvedev also warned that Moscow will not hesitate to use nuclear weapons and spelt out that the Russian doctrine "makes it clear that nuclear weapons may be used if Russia faces an act of aggression".

He explained: "In fact, it is about using nuclear weapons in response to such actions.

"Our potential adversaries should not underestimate this.

"All these speculations about how the Russians will never do this are worthless.

"The Western analysts and Western commanders - both military and political leaders - should simply assess our rules and our intentions."