On Wednesday, 16 March 2022, Russian President gave an extensive speech on the Ukrainian crisis. The speech was given when he met with regional heads to discuss measures of socioeconomic support to counter the wave of anti-Russian sanctions.
As the meeting progressed, President Putin provided his thinking on the ongoing war with Ukraine, what he sees as the causes, and the goals Russia is pursuing.
Why the conflict? President Putin claimed that launching the “special military operation” was inevitable and was the only option Russia had left to end the years-long bloodshed in eastern Ukraine.
“Encouraged by the United States and other Western countries, Ukraine was purposefully preparing for a scenario of force, a massacre and an ethnic cleansing in Donbass. A massive onslaught on Donbass and later Crimea was just a matter of time. However, our Armed Forces have shattered these plans,” Putin said.
Weapons of mass destruction? The Russian President alleged that Ukrainian authorities have openly stated their goal to obtain weapons of mass destruction, namely nuclear bombs and means of their delivery. He argues that given the extremely hostile attitude of Kiev, such systems would have been used to target Russia once they were ready.
“There was a network of dozens of laboratories in Ukraine, where military biological programs were conducted under the guidance and with the financial support of the Pentagon, including experiments with coronavirus strains, anthrax, cholera, African swine fever and other deadly diseases,” Putin said, adding that now “frantic attempts” are underway to conceal the “traces of these secret programs.”
Ukraine as anti-Russia state? Putin postulated that under the close guidance of Western handlers, Ukraine have been morphed into “anti-Russia”.
“We are seeing again and again that the Kiev regime, for which its Western masters have set the task of creating an aggressive ‘anti-Russia’, is indifferent to the fate of the people of Ukraine themselves,” Putin said.
“It is also obvious that the Western handlers are simply pushing the Kiev authorities to continue the bloodshed. They are supplied with more and more weaponry batches, they are provided with intelligence, they also receive other assistance, including military advisers and mercenaries.”
Allegations of Kiev and Western cynicism? Using an alleged ballistic missile strike on the center of Donetsk that occurred on Monday as an example, Putin accused Kiev and the West of exhibiting “shocking cynicism.”
“They are striking randomly at squares with the fervor of fanatics and the exasperation of the doomed. They are acting like the Nazis did when they tried to drag as many innocent victims as they could to their graves,” Putin said, adding that Kiev had tried to blame the strike on Russia through “blatant lies.”
“The European and American press did not even notice this tragedy in Donetsk, as if nothing happened,” Putin said. “Just like they have been hypocritically looking the other way over the past eight years as mothers buried their children in Donbass, as elderly people were killed. This is simply moral degradation, complete de-humanization.”
What is the root cause of the war? President Putin argued that the West’s desire to maintain its global dominance is the root of the ongoing Ukrainian turmoil, as well as crises in the other parts of the globe.
“Today, the entire planet has to pay the price for the ambitions of the West, for its attempts by any means to maintain its crumbling dominance,” he said.
Impact of anti-Russian sanctions? Putin noted that the impact of the sanctions imposed on Russia over the Ukrainian conflict is already being felt by the common people in the West.
I want ordinary Western people to hear me as well. You are being persistently told that your current difficulties are the result of Russia’s hostile actions and that you have to pay from your own pockets for the efforts to counter the alleged Russian threat. All of that is a lie.
Russia sent troops into Ukraine in late February, accusing Kiev of refusing to implement a peace plan for two breakaway republics in the Donbass region following years of fighting.
Ukraine has called the “special operation” an unprovoked attack, a stance echoed by the US and a long list of allies, which have retaliated with far-reaching sanctions on Russia and ramped up arms deliveries to the Ukrainian military.
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur