Putin on Ukraine and the West: Key takeaways from latest speech
President Vladimir Putin gave an extensive speech on the Ukrainian crisis on Wednesday, as he met with regional heads to discuss measures of socioeconomic support to counter the wave of anti-Russian sanctions. Putin provided his take on the ongoing conflict with Ukraine, its causes, and the goals Russia pursues.
Conflict was inevitable
Launching the “special military operation” was the only option Russia had left to end the years-long bloodshed in eastern Ukraine, Putin stressed. At the same time, limiting its scope to the breakaway Donbass republics only would only push the “frontline” westwards, rather than defuse the situation, he noted.
While waging the war against the breakaway regions of Donbass, Kiev has been preparing for a broad offensive to re-capture them, Putin said, adding that “almost 14,000 civilians, including children, have been killed” in the conflict. Ukrainian authorities also sought to attack Crimea, which split from the country back in 2014 and joined Russia via a referendum.
“Encouraged by the United States and other Western countries, Ukraine was purposefully preparing for a scenario of force, a massacre and an ethnic cleansing in Donbass. A massive onslaught on Donbass and later Crimea was just a matter of time. However, our Armed Forces have shattered these plans,” Putin said.
Kiev actively sought weapons of mass destruction
Ukrainian authorities have openly stated their goal to obtain weapons of mass destruction, namely nuclear bombs and means of their delivery, Russia’s president has said. Given the extremely hostile attitude of Kiev, such systems would have been used to target Russia once they were ready.
Putin also touched upon the Ukrainian biolab network allegations, raised by the Russian military amid the offensive. The facilities scattered across the country have allegedly been engaged in biological weapons development with direct support of Washington. The allegations, backed by documents published by the Russian military, have been met with varying degrees of denial from the top US officials.
“There was a network of dozens of laboratories in Ukraine, where military biological programs were conducted under the guidance and with the financial support of the Pentagon, including experiments with coronavirus strains, anthrax, cholera, African swine fever and other deadly diseases,” Putin said, adding that now “frantic attempts” are underway to conceal the “traces of these secret programs.”
Ukraine established as ‘anti-Russia’
Over the past few years, under the close guidance of their Western handlers, the Kiev authorities have morphed Ukraine into “anti-Russia”, Putin suggested. The only goal of the incumbent Kiev “regime” is to drag the conflict on for as long as possible, with little regard to the fate of the civilians or destruction that ensues.
“We are seeing again and again that the Kiev regime, for which its Western masters have set the task of creating an aggressive ‘anti-Russia’, is indifferent to the fate of the people of Ukraine themselves,” Putin said.
“It is also obvious that the Western handlers are simply pushing the Kiev authorities to continue the bloodshed. They are supplied with more and more weaponry batches, they are provided with intelligence, they also receive other assistance, including military advisers and mercenaries.”
Kiev & West exhibit ‘shocking cynicism’
Both Ukrainian authorities and the collective West have exhibited “shocking cynicism” amid the conflict, Putin said, offering the ballistic missile strike on the center of Donetsk that occurred on Monday as an example of such behavior. The strike killed at least 20 civilians.
“They are striking randomly at squares with the fervor of fanatics and the exasperation of the doomed. They are acting like the Nazis did when they tried to drag as many innocent victims as they could to their graves,” Putin said, adding that Kiev had tried to blame the strike on Russia through “blatant lies.”
The attitude of “the so-called civilized world” to the missile strike turned to be “shocking in its extreme cynicism” as well, the president went on.
“The European and American press did not even notice this tragedy in Donetsk, as if nothing happened,” Putin said. “Just like they have been hypocritically looking the other way over the past eight years as mothers buried their children in Donbass, as elderly people were killed. This is simply moral degradation, complete de-humanization.”
Crumbling dominance of the West behind global turmoil
Ultimately, the West’s desire to maintain its global dominance is the root of the ongoing Ukrainian turmoil, as well as crises in the other parts of the globe, Putin believes.
“Today, the entire planet has to pay the price for the ambitions of the West, for its attempts by any means to maintain its crumbling dominance,” he said.
Concerned only with their “vested interests and super profits,” the Western elites led the world into the current situation through “years of mistakes and short-sighted decisions.”
For instance, the impact of the anti-Russian sanctions, imposed over the Ukrainian conflict, is already being felt by the common people in the West – while the elites have been bizarrely trying to blame it on Moscow, Putin noted.
I want ordinary Western people to hear me as well. You are being persistently told that your current difficulties are the result of Russia’s hostile actions and that you have to pay from your own pockets for the efforts to counter the alleged Russian threat. All of that is a lie.