Vladimir Putin said today that the West’s ‘attempt to have global dominance’ is coming to an end as he warned it is trying to ‘cancel Russia’ with an ‘economic blitzkreig’ of sanctions.
The Russian President, speaking in a televised government meeting in Moscow, said that keeping Russia in check was a long-term policy of the West, and that its economic measures were short-sighted as ‘most countries do not support sanctions’.
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Putin claimed that the conflict had merely been a pretext for the West to impose sanctions because ‘they just don’t want a strong and sovereign Russia’.
‘The West doesn’t even bother to hide the fact that its aim is to damage the entire Russian economy, every Russian,’ he said, adding that the West’s actions would ‘only strengthen’ Moscow.
He said Russia was ready to discuss Ukraine’s neutral status in talks aimed at ending hostilities, but it would still meet the objectives of its military operation, which was ‘going to plan’.
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But he also told Russians, in words ironically reminiscent of Ukrainian President Vlodymyr Zelensky’s speeches, that ‘we are fighting for our sovereignty and the future of our children’.
It is the latest in the propaganda pushed by Moscow in a bid to justify their invasion of Ukraine to Russian citizens – including claims the war is about ‘de-nazifying’ the country and preventing a genocide of minorities waged by Kyiv.
If the West thought that Russia would step back, it did not understand Russia, Putin said on the 21st day of the war against Ukraine.
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He claimed the the operation in Ukraine is unfolding ‘successfully, in strict accordance with pre-approved plans’ and warned the West is trying to stoke up civil conflict.
In his most explicit acknowledgment of the pain inflicted by Western sanctions, he said inflation and unemployment would rise, but promised support to families with children.
Structural changes to the economy would be needed, Putin said, as he accused the West of trying to ‘squeeze us, to put pressure on us, to turn us into a weak, dependent country.’
Meanwhile Russian state TV Rossiya aired a segment on battle plans to invade the Baltic states, showing a white board with potential routes on live television.
It comes as new allegations of war crimes were hurled at Putin after video emerged that purported to show at least 10 Ukrainian civilians gunned down while they were queueing for bread outside Chernihiv.
New drone footage appeared to show Russian soldiers executing a lone Ukrainian civilian as he held his hands up to surrender on a highway west of Kyiv last week.
Russian authorities have repeatedly insisted that their forces are only targeting strategic military locations and are not waging war on the civilian population of Ukraine but it comes after two residential apartment blocks in west Kyiv were hit in shelling overnight.
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