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14 Dec, 2023 11:17

Russia-Ukraine conflict is a ‘civil war’ – Putin

Russians and Ukrainians are a single people and what is happening now is a great tragedy, the president said
Russia-Ukraine conflict is a ‘civil war’ – Putin

Russia has been trying for decades to build normal relations with Ukraine “at any cost,” but this was made impossible after the coup d’etat in 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a live marathon press conference on Thursday.

The president was asked if he could foresee a normalization of relations with the West in the near future. Putin responded by stressing that Russia has never tried to intentionally ruin or sever ties with any nation. Instead, it was the West that spoiled relations with Russia by constantly trying to push the country aside and neglecting its national interests, Putin said.

The culmination of that was the coup d’etat in Ukraine that was staged by Russia’s geopolitical “opponents” in 2014, which has ultimately led to the current situation, according to the president.

Putin described the ongoing conflict as a “great tragedy” that is essentially a “civil war” between brothers. He stressed that at their core, in spite of the current hostilities, Russians and Ukrainians are one people.

The president noted that Moscow always had good relations with southeast Ukraine, which tended to be pro-Russian because these territories had historically belonged to Russia.

“But after the coup d’etat of 2014, it became clear to us that we would no longer be allowed, by force, to build any sort of normal relations with Ukraine,” Putin said, recalling that the US had publicly admitted to spending $5 billion dollars on overthrowing the government of Ukraine.

That, coupled with NATO’s “uncontrollable desire to creep towards our borders” by inviting Ukraine into the bloc, and the eight-year-long bloodbath in Donbass, has ultimately led to the tragedy that is currently unfolding, Putin summarized.

“So how are we supposed to build relations with them?” asked the Russian president, noting that the West has continued to pretend like it doesn’t remember doing any of the aforementioned things, only occasionally admitting that it was signing deals – such as the Minsk Accords, which were meant to be a path towards peace – with their fingers crossed behind their back.

“[The West] has largely lost its sovereignty,” suggested Putin, pointing out that many Western nations, with the exception of countries like Hungary, constantly make decisions that only end up hurting themselves.

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