Russian President Vladimir Putin has once again justified the war against Ukraine, which has been going on for almost four months because there is no alternative. “In the current situation, against the background of increasing risks and threats to us, Russia’s decision to conduct a special military operation (…) was forced and necessary,” Putin told the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg on Friday.
The West had previously “literally pumped up Ukraine with its weapons and its military advisers,” the Kremlin chief said.
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Putin added: “The decision is aimed at protecting our citizens and the people of the People’s Republics in Donbas, who have been subjected to genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years.”
The head of the Kremlin has accused Ukraine of “genocide” Russian-speaking people in recent years – without providing any evidence.
Moscow also justifies a war against a neighboring country at the end of February by allegedly “liberating” Ukraine from “neo-Nazis.”
He talks about the repatriation of Russian land
On June 9, Putin put the war he had directed against Ukraine on the same level as the Great Northern War under Russian Tsar Peter I, and spoke of a return campaign on Russian soil. Peter did not conquer the area around today’s metropolis of St. Petersburg from the Swedes, but on the contrary, he regained it. “Obviously, this is also our destiny: to bring back and strengthen,” Putin outlined parallels to the war against Ukraine.
He accused the West of arrogance, the US acted as if sent to earth by God with sacred interests, Putin said. “Our Western colleagues are still thinking in the last century, treating other countries as colonies,” Putin said, saying that nothing in international politics would ever be the same again.
Putin claims a leading role in shaping global power relations for his country. As a powerful and modern country, Russia is part of a new world order, he said.
It is clear that the rules of the new world order will be determined by strong and sovereign states. “We are strong people and we can face any challenge. “Like our ancestors, we will solve any problem, as evidenced by the millennial history of our country,” Putin said.
Western sanctions would be ineffective
Western sanctions against Russia, Putin said, had no effect. “From the beginning, the economic blitzkrieg had no chance of success,” Putin said. “We are strong people and we can handle any challenge.”
Putin called the sanctions imposed by Western states in response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine “crazy” and “thoughtless.” Repressive measures have also hit the EU hard.
Putin on nuclear weapons: “Everyone should know what we have”
Putin has rejected a possible threat of nuclear war stemming from Russia. As soon as you respond to the statements of foreign politicians, it immediately means that Russia is threatening someone, he says. He added: “We are not threatening anything. But everyone should know what we have and what we can use to protect our sovereignty. “
Performance delays due to hacker attack
According to the Kremlin, the planned speech was previously delayed due to a hacker attack. There was an attack on the admission system, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday. The speech scheduled for 13:00 CEST was postponed by an hour.
Every year, Putin’s speech to an international audience is the culmination of an economic meeting that will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year. The Kremlin has previously announced a keynote address by the president.
Guests must have a special delegate card to enter the Forum, which is organized as a large trade fair and offers hundreds of round tables and other events. Guests can only walk if the security system with computers and screens is working. According to the Kremlin, this system has now been attacked by hackers.
More about the war in Ukraine on Tagesspiegel Plus:
This year, the organizers talk about participants from 115 countries. Among the guests of honor are President Kassym-Jomart Tokaev of the authoritarian former Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan, the Taliban of Afghanistan and separatist leaders from the People’s Republic of Luhansk and Donetsk, who are recognized and persecuted by Russia as terrorists. Putin will also meet with Russian media representatives, including war reporters. (dpa, AFP)