Putin defends Ukraine invasion, blasts Western interference in state of the nation address

Putin defends Ukraine invasion, blasts Western interference in state of the nation address

Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Western international locations Tuesday of igniting and sustaining the warfare in Ukraine, dismissing any blame for Moscow virtually a 12 months after the Kremlin’s unprovoked invasion of its neighbour that has killed tens of hundreds of folks.

In his long-delayed state-of-the-nation address, Putin forged Russia — and Ukraine — as victims of Western double-dealing and stated Russia, not Ukraine, was the one preventing for its very existence.

“We aren’t preventing the Ukrainian folks,” Putin stated in a speech days earlier than the warfare’s first anniversary on Friday. Ukraine “has develop into hostage of the Kyiv regime and its Western masters, which have successfully occupied the nation.”

Putin additionally stated that Russia is suspending its participation in the New START Treaty, signed with the U.S. in 2010 and prolonged in the early days of the Biden administration in 2021. The treaty caps the quantity of long-range nuclear warheads they’ll deploy and limits the use of missiles that may carry atomic weapons.

The speech reiterated a litany of grievances that the Russian chief has continuously supplied as justification for the broadly condemned warfare and ignored worldwide calls for to drag again from occupied areas in Ukraine.

The Russian chief vowed no army let-up in Ukrainian territories he has illegally annexed, apparently rejecting any peace overtures in a battle that has reawakened fears of a brand new Chilly Warfare.

U.S. sparking a world confrontation: Putin

Analysts anticipated Putin’s speech could be robust in the wake of U.S. President Joe Biden’s go to to Kyiv on Monday.

Putin supplied his personalised model of latest historical past, which discounted arguments by the Ukrainian authorities that it wanted Western assist to thwart a Russian army takeover.

A view exhibits destroyed buildings in the city of Siversk, Donetsk area, amid Russia’s assault on Ukraine, on Monday. (Yevhen Titov/Reuters)

“Western elites aren’t attempting to hide their targets, to inflict a ‘strategic defeat’ to Russia,” Putin stated in the speech broadcast by all state TV channels. “They intend to rework the native battle into a world confrontation.”

He stated that Russia is ready to reply to that as “it is going to be a matter of our nation’s existence.”

Putin accused the West of launching “aggressive data assaults” and taking goal at Russian tradition, faith and values as a result of it’s conscious that “it’s inconceivable to defeat Russia on the battlefield.”

He additionally accused Western nations of waging an assault on Russia’s economic system with sanctions — however declared these actions hadn’t “achieved something and won’t obtain something.”

Whereas the structure mandates that the president ship the speech yearly, Putin by no means gave one in 2022. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov advised reporters that the speech’s delay needed to do with Putin’s “work schedule,” however Russian media reviews linked it to the a number of setbacks Russian forces have suffered on the battlefield in Ukraine.

Biden to offer address in Poland

Biden plans to offer his personal speech later Tuesday in Warsaw, the place he is anticipated to spotlight the dedication of Poland and different allies to Ukraine over the previous 12 months. Greater than 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees have settled in Poland since the begin of the warfare, and Poland has additionally supplied Ukraine with $3.8 billion in army and humanitarian help, based on the White Home.

White Home nationwide safety adviser Jake Sullivan stated that Biden’s address wouldn’t be “some sort of face to face” with Putin’s.

“This isn’t a rhetorical contest with anybody else,” stated. “That is an affirmative assertion of values, a imaginative and prescient for what the world we’re each attempting to construct and defend ought to appear like.”

Two men embrace as a number of other people look on.U.S. President Joe Biden embraces Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as they go to the Wall of Remembrance to pay tribute to fallen Ukrainian troopers, in Kyiv, on Monday. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Reuters)

The battle — the most important warfare in Europe since the Second World Warfare — has already left tens of hundreds of folks lifeless, devastated Ukraine’s infrastructure system and broken the world economic system.

Whereas Biden is trying to make use of his whirlwind journey to Europe as a second of affirmation for Ukraine and allies, the White Home has additionally emphasised that there isn’t any clear endgame to the warfare in the close to time period and the scenario on the floor has develop into more and more complicated.

The administration on Sunday revealed it has new intelligence suggesting that China, which has remained on the sidelines of the battle, is now contemplating sending Moscow deadly help. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated it may develop into a “major problem” if Beijing follows by means of.

The U.S. has dedicated about $113 billion US in help to Ukraine since final 12 months, whereas European allies have dedicated tens of billions of {dollars} extra and welcomed thousands and thousands of Ukrainian refugees who’ve fled the battle.

Some Republicans, notably in the Home of Representatives, have balked at the quantity of help the U.S. has given the nation.

WATCH | Ukraine’s air pollution ranges have multiplied in previous 12 months:

Ukraine desires Russia to pay for warfare’s environmental harm

Ukraine is constructing a damning file of environmental harm it considers warfare crimes that it desires Russia to pay for, however there’s concern local weather reparations will probably be the last item addressed after the warfare.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, thought-about a possible 2024 presidential candidate, criticized the Biden administration’s “blank-cheque coverage” in an interview on Monday.

“The worry of Russia going into NATO international locations and all that and steamrolling, you understand, that has not even come near taking place,” DeSantis advised Fox Information. “I feel they’ve proven themselves to be a third-rate army energy.”

In the U.S., a ballot printed final week by The Related Press-NORC Middle for Public Affairs Analysis, 48 per cent of respondents stated they favoured the U.S. offering weapons to Ukraine, with 29 per cent opposed and 22 per cent saying they’re neither in favour nor opposed. In Could 2022, lower than three months into the warfare, 60 per cent of U.S. adults stated they had been in favour of sending Ukraine weapons.