Today, February 21, 2023, President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation delivered an address to the nation. Russia, he declares, will “systematically” continue the offensive in Ukraine. He stresses that “it is impossible to defeat Moscow on the battlefield.”
He adds that the Kremlin wanted peaceful solution to avoid military intervention, but the West was playing “with false cards” to deceive the Russians: “They want to eliminate us forever, Russia’s very existence is at stake.” Explaining the reasons for the war, he says Kiev “wanted to equip itself with nuclear weapons” and attack Donbass and Crimea.
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Putin’s speech to the nation: the conflict in Ukraine and the “faults” of the West
Vladimir Putin, in no uncertain terms, opened his speech by announcing the need to make radical changes. Then, without adding anything else, he immediately went on the attack by saying that Russia was sincere and ready for dialogue with Western states.
About the conflict in Ukraine and the involvement of Western countries, Vladimir Putin said:
“The West engaged in cheating, turned a blind eye to the Kiev regime’s political murders and repressions, and encouraged Nazis to commit terrorist acts.”
The Russian president also revealed that in 2021 he sent NATO a draft containing some guarantees to prevent escalation.
Vladimir Putin also tried to turn the tables by saying that Russia did not invade Ukraine. According to the president of the Russian Federation it was the West that started the war and occupied Ukraine politically, militarily and economically.
Speaking to the leadership of the armed forces and its ministers, he then said that beating Russia militarily is impossible. In this regard, Putin added that they will continue their special operation in Ukraine to liquidate what he calls the neo-Nazi threat.
Putin’s words about the Russian nuclear arsenal
Vladimir Putin talked about the weapons Russia has and as usual he touched on the subject of the nuclear arsenal:
“Russia’s nuclear deterrence force is 90 percent equipped with advanced weapons-a level that should be extended to the entire military.”
Furthermore, he added that the Russian Federation is working on new military technologies to improve the combat readiness of the army and navy.
The Kremlin leader then made another announcement: the “suspension” by Russia of the implementation of Start, the last remaining nuclear arms reduction treaty with the United States. Putin explained that he will not allow U.S. inspectors to visit Russian nuclear sites while Washington is committed to inflicting a “strategic defeat” on the Kremlin.
Putin finally announced that they have an arsenal both quantitatively and qualitatively superior to that of the West. To win this war, the production of new weapons, including nuclear weapons, has already begun.
Russia’s economy is strong
Vladimir Putin confirmed that Russia’s GDP has fallen by more than 2 percent. Nevertheless, according to the leader of the Russian Federation, the country’s economy is stronger than Western nations could have predicted.
Putin went on to say that thanks to joint work between the government, parliament, and central banks, many jobs have been retained and the country’s economic stability has been achieved.
Speaking of the economy, Putin also mentioned the sanctions against Russia saying that they are only a means, but their real goal is not to weaken the Russian economy but to make the whole population suffer.
Moreover, the sanctions more than punishing Russia are hurting the West because of inflation, cost of living, and the collapse of the energy sector.
Putin on the spiritual decadence of the West and the 2024 elections
Moving on to other issues, but still attacking the West, Putin spoke about the Lgbtq+ community. According to the Russian president, the only possible family is between the union of a man and a woman.
The task of the Russian Federation is to defend the youngest from what he called deviance. The West meanwhile, again according to Putin, is heading toward a spiritual catastrophe.
“The elections in September and the presidential elections in 2024 will be held in accordance with the law,” Putin finally said in his address to Federal Assembly parliamentarians at the Gostiny Dvor headquarters in Moscow.
The first reactions to Putin’s speech
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan deemed the Russian president’s rude words “absurd.” “Nobody is attacking Russia. There is a kind of absurdity in the idea that Russia was under some form of military threat from Ukraine or anybody else. We don’t see the speech as a kind of head-to-head, it’s not an oratorical challenge to anybody,” the adviser commented.
On Twitter Mychailo Podolyak, Ukrainian Presidential Advisor commented: “Putin has publicly demonstrated his irrelevance and confusion. He has no promising solutions and will have none. Because everywhere there are ‘Nazis, Martians and conspiracy theories’… Sic transit gloria mundi of Putin in the Russian parliament.”