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“They started the war”: Putin demonizes the West in his speech almost a year after the invasion of Ukraine

the russian president Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine and the West of starting the war.

“Ukraine and Donbas have become a symbol of total lies,” Putin said during his state of the nation address, his first since 2021.

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The Russian leader accused the West of withdrawing from “fundamental agreements” and making “hypocritical statements” as well as expanding the NATO defensive alliance.

“I want to repeat it: they are to blame for the war, and we are using force to stop it,” Putin declared to loud applause in a speech in which the first 20 minutes consisted of lashing out at the West.

In his opinion, during the Munich Security Conference held last week – a high-level international meeting – many accusations were launched against Russia to divert attention from Western actions and he recalled that they “they let the genie out of the bottle” and plunged the whole world into chaos“They do not take human sacrifices or tragedies into account… They must continue to rob everyone, disguising themselves with slogans of democracy and freedom,” he said, flanked by four Russian tricolor flags.

Putin on stage. (REUTERS).

At this point, he accused the West of “opening the way” for the Nazis to seize power in the 1930s, and claimed that since the 19th century the West has been trying to wrest Russia’s “historical lands,” “what are now called calls Ukraine.” “Everything repeats itself,” Putin said, adding that the West financed the 2014 revolution in Ukraine that toppled a pro-Russian government. According to him, this “gave rise to Russophobia, to extreme nationalism.”

And again repeated that the fault of the war lies with the Westthat Russia had done everything possible to avoid war but that Western-backed Ukraine had been planning to attack Russian-controlled Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014.

Putin declared that the aim of the West is to “direct aggression towards the East and eliminate competition” and assured that the West wants to turn a local conflict into a global conflict, something they will react against “accordingly”.


Analysis by Paul Kirby, digital editor for Europe

Putin blames the West again for an old issue

Nothing new so far, since the Russian leader justifies the destruction of towns and cities in Ukraine with his hackneyed theme: “it was the West that caused it.”

He has made these false claims before that Ukraine has a neo-Nazi government and has issued nuclear threats, and he has said many times already that the West and NATO are to blame.

While categorically unaware that Russia is the aggressor in this conflict, this is a message the Kremlin needs to repeat to a Russian public that wonders why the war has lasted a year and caused so many casualties. Most Russians won’t know the true scale, but they will know that it is high.

It is strange, Putin mused, that no one in the West realized what was happening. The West would use neo-Nazis, even the devil himself, as part of its revenge policy against Russia, according to Putin’s claims. But revenge for what? NATO is expanding in response to Russia’s own military threat. Finland and Sweden would not have applied for membership had it not been for the Russian invasion.

Old Putin ideas, but presented in a much more radical form, as Kremlin observer Tatiana Stanovaya points out.


“It is impossible to defeat Russia on the battlefield”

Defeating Russia, he said, is impossible, stating that Russia will never give in to Western attempts to divide its society, adding that most Russians support the war.

“They (Western elites) also cannot help but realize that it is impossible to defeat Russia on the battlefield, so they are carrying out more and more aggressive information attacks against us,” he said in the livestreamed speech. .

“Of course, these are young people, young generations who are primarily targeted. And here, too, they constantly lie, distort historical facts and do not stop attacking our culture, the Russian Orthodox Church and other traditional religious organizations of our country.” he continued.

“Look at what they are doing to their own people: the destruction of the family, cultural and national identity, perversions and abuse of minors, including pedophilia, are described as the norm, the norm of their lives. And the clergy , priests, are forced to bless same-sex marriages,” the president said, adding that “the Anglican Church, for example, is planning… to consider the idea of ​​a gender-neutral god.”

“Millions of people in the West do not understand that they are being led to a true spiritual catastrophe, the elites are going crazy… But these are their problems, as I have already said, and we are obliged to protect our children,” he said. Putin.

Some 1,200 people were invited to the event, including legislators of the Russian Parliament, members of the Government, presidents of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court and regional governors.  (REUTERS).

Some 1,200 people were invited to the event, including legislators of the Russian Parliament, members of the Government, presidents of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court and regional governors. (REUTERS).

The Russian leader also used the speech to thank the people of the four Ukrainian territories who voted to join Russia in a widely discredited referendum last fall.

“There has been nothing more courageous than his decision to be with Russia, with his homeland,” he said, provoking applause from those present. “For our ancestors and the future of our children and grandchildren… to restore historical justice… This is what our heroes are fighting for,” he declared, then called on the audience to stand up in honor of the Russian soldiers who have died.

“Every family of a lost combatant, every veteran, must have a social care coordinator at their side who must communicate with them personally and solve their problems,” he declared, vowing to create a special government foundation whose task it will be to provide specific help to the participants. in the so-called special military operation and their families.

At this point, Putin reaffirmed that the West is fueling the conflict and waging economic warfare, but assured that the West will never achieve anything. The sanctions imposed on Russia by various countries are punishing themselves, Putin said, pointing to increases in prices, company closures and the energy crisis. “They blame the Russians for everything,” he said.

Continuing with the economic issue, he said that he wants to build a secure system of international payments that reduces dependence on the West. “We must not repeat our mistakes. We must not destroy our economy,” he said. He also pointed out that Western sanctions aimed at ” suffer” the Russian people have not been successful, and stated that the share of Russian rubles in international transactions “has doubled.

The Ukraine conflict is the biggest gamble by a Russian leader since at least the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Tens of thousands of men have been killed, and Putin, 70, now says Russia is locked in an existential battle with an arrogant West that he says wants to divide Russia and steal its vast natural resources. The West and Ukraine reject this version, saying that NATO expansion to the east does not justify what they see as a doomed imperial-style land grab.

Source: Elcomercio

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