It was a seminal, hourlong speech that threatened to clear the best way for warfare. On Monday night time President Vladimir V. Putin mentioned he would acknowledge the independence of two Russian-backed territories in japanese Ukraine, setting the stage for the potential of Russian army motion in opposition to Ukraine.
Listed here are excerpts from his handle, which he mentioned was additionally directed to his “compatriots” in Ukraine.
“Why was it essential to make an enemy out of us?” Mr. Putin requested, repeating his long-held grievances about NATO’s eastward enlargement. “They didn’t need such a big, impartial nation as Russia. On this lies the reply to all questions.”
“We clearly perceive that in such a state of affairs, the diploma of army risk to Russia will rise cardinally, by a number of instances,” Mr. Putin mentioned of the potential of Ukraine becoming a member of NATO. “If our ancestors heard about this, they’d most likely not consider it. And we don’t need to consider it. However that’s how it’s.”
“Let me emphasize as soon as once more that Ukraine for us is not only a neighboring nation. It’s an integral a part of our personal historical past, tradition, religious area,” Mr. Putin mentioned, referring to Ukraine’s significance to Russia. “These are our comrades, family, amongst whom usually are not solely colleagues, pals, former colleagues, but additionally family, folks related with us by blood, household ties.”
“We’re being blackmailed, they’re threatening us with sanctions. However I feel they may impose these sanctions,” he mentioned referring to attainable repercussions of Russian motion. “A brand new pretext will all the time be discovered or fabricated. Regardless of the scenario in Ukraine,” he added. “The aim is single: to maintain Russia behind, to stop it from creating. And they’re going to do it earlier than even with none formal pretext. Simply because we exist. We are going to by no means surrender our sovereignty, nationwide curiosity, and our values.”
“The so-called civilized world, the representatives of the self-proclaimed western colleagues, they act as if they don’t discover something. As if nothing is occurring, as if this nightmare didn’t exist.”