Vladimir Putin’s ‘absurd’ statements made during two-hour-long rant4 min read
Vladimir Putin accuses The West of ‘starting the war’
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Vladimir Putin took to a podium in Moscow today to deliver a highly anticipated speech on his plans for Russia. In a nearly two-hour-long televised rant, the Russian President addressed the local population and outlined the state of his country’s economy. But he also made a series of bizarre claims in an attempt to rewrite the narrative surrounding his invasion of Ukraine, the first anniversary of which is just days away.
The west is responsible for the war in Ukraine
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, with the anniversary of this initial incursion now just days away.
Putin first framed the invasion as a necessary “special military operation” and reiterated the false claim that Russia seeks to liquidate a “neo-nazi regime” in Kyiv.
In today’s speech, the Russian President turned to another of his favourite claims; that the Western world is to blame for the war.
He framed Western intervention as a “campaign of terror”, and went as far as to claim his forces are stopping the conflict.
Putin said: “I want to repeat it is them who are guilty and culpable for the war and we are using our force to stop it”.
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan branded the accusations an “absurdity”.
Russia is ‘defending’ people
A central theme of today’s speech was that Russia is on the right side of history and his country’s troops are “defending”.
Early on, he claimed to understand how “unbearably hard” it is for soldiers and their families to receive adequate compensation for fighting and dying in the war.
He said that those fighting were “worthy defenders of the Fatherland”.
While concluding his speech after nearly two hours, he repeated the claim.
He said that “thousands” of people have signed up to fight in Ukraine alongside the “defenders of the Donbas”.
His final words closing the lengthy speech assured that “the truth is on our side”.
Ukrainians are ‘hostage’ to the west
Another bizarre claim from the Russian premier was that Ukraine is currently being held hostage by Kyiv.
Speaking from the stage, he said the people of Ukraine have “become the hostage of the Kyiv regime and its Western overlords”.
He alleged the so-called “Western overlords” have “effectively occupied [Ukraine] in the political, military and economic sense”.
The President added: “They intend to transform a local conflict into a phase of global confrontation.
“This is exactly how we understand it all and we will react accordingly, because in this case, we are talking about the existence of our country.”
Despite claiming that the west is instigating a global conflict, Putin announced in the same speech that Russia would pull out of a 2002 arms limitation agreement with the US and added the country is prepared to test nuclear weapons.
It is ‘impossible’ to beat Russia on the battlefield
Putin claimed the Kremlin intends to stop the war and that it is “impossible” to beat Russia on the battlefield.
The patriotic statement is, fortunately for Ukraine, not supported by the country’s performance in the invasion.
Ukraine has inflicted several embarrassing defeats on the Russian armed forces since the war began.
The comparatively small army has beaten the invaders back from several key locations in the Ukrainian Kherson and Kharkiv counteroffensives.
The former counteroffensive in November 2022 saw Ukrainians successfully route the Russian army from Kherson City, one of the regions the Kremlin illegally annexed in 2022.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has claimed Ukraine is “breaking down the invaders and inflicting extraordinarily significant losses on Russia”.
Kyiv trying to ‘acquire nuclear weapons’
Putin claimed early on that the Kyiv regime aims to “acquire nuclear weapons”.
The claim is false, as Ukrainian officials have not expressed interest in nuclear weaponry since the war began.
Ukraine once hosted nuclear weapons as part of the Soviet Union but gave them up in 1994 when the country’s then-government signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The country last touched on nuclear weaponry in 2021, when the Ukrainian ambassador said his country might have to reconsider its nuclear-free status if it couldn’t join NATO.
Officials have not referred to the weapons since then, and the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has detected no signs Ukraine is using nuclear material earmarked for “peaceful activities” for “other purposes”.
Since the war began, Kyiv has requested military assistance to protect its territory, with artillery and training making up the bulk of aid coming from the west.
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