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The West wants “to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia”, according to Vladimir Putin

On Tuesday, February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a long-awaited speech to the nation, nearly one year after the beginning of the war in Ukraine. He spoke in front of the political elite and Russian soldiers. In Gostiny Dvor, Moscow, Putin addressed Ukraine's invasion and the Russians’ life. 


First of all, Vladimir Putin started his speech by saying Russia will “achieve [its] goals.” He quickly   justified the Ukraine invasion: “Russia intervened to defend the inhabitants of our historical regions, to ensure the security of our country, to eliminate a threat that came from the neonazi regime in Ukraine, which came to power following the 2014 coup, the decision was taken to conduct a special military operation.”


Then, Putin attacked and accused the Occident of being “responsible for the escalation.” Furthermore, he said the Occident uses this war to end Russia: “The elites of the West do not hide their objective: to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia, that is to say, to finish us off once and for all.”

According to Putin, Russia can’t be defeated on the field. He also accused the Occident of making this conflict a world one when it should be a local conflict. 


A moment of silence has been observed to pay tribute to Russian soldiers and civilians killed in Ukraine. Putin also said Russia would create a fund to help Russian soldiers’ families. Furthermore, he announced soldiers would be able to take 14 days off every six months. 


Vladimir Putin then continued accusing the West of waging a war of civilization against Russia. Putin said: “They keep attacking our culture, the Russian Orthodox Church, and other traditional religious organizations in our country.” He added: “Look at what they are doing to their people: the destruction of the cultural and national identity of the family, and the abuse of children up to pedophilia are declared the norm, the norm of their lives.”


“[Russia is] entering a new cycle of growth. We are looking to new promising markets. Growth is expected in the coming years thanks to domestic demand. Following the departure of Western companies, today we see the situation,” according to Putin. 


Furthermore, Putin talked about the “traitors”: “The West will try to rock our society, betting on national traitors, “national-traitors”. There have always been such figures. But all those who are guilty of this collaboration will be punished with the force of the law.”


Finally, the Russian President announced the suspension of Russia’s participation in the New Start Treaty on nuclear disarmament. He said: “This treaty prevents us from carrying out full-fledged inspections, and our repeated requests to inspect this or that facility remain unanswered or are rejected for formal reasons. And we can't inspect anything on the other side.”


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