The West wants to “finish off” Russia, according to Putin

West wants to «be done with Russia, Putin says< /p> UPDATE DAY

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday accused the West of using the Ukraine conflict to “finish off” Russia, in an annual address to the nation, saying the West bears “the responsibility of climbing. 

“The elites of the West do not hide their objective: to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia, that is to say to finish with us once and for all”, he hammered, in a speech intervening three days before the first anniversary of the Russian offensive.

“The responsibility for the escalation in the Ukrainian conflict and its victims (…) rests totally with the Western elites”, further said the Russian President, repeating his thesis that the West is backing neo-Nazi forces in Ukraine to consolidate an anti-Russian state there.

New START Treaty 

He also announced that Russia was suspending its participation in the New Start agreement on nuclear disarmament and threatened to carry out new nuclear tests if the United States does it first.

“Russia suspends its participation in the START treaty”, declared Mr. Putin during a river speech strongly hostile to Westerners, calling on the Russian authorities to be “ready for nuclear weapons tests” if Washington carries out some first.

Before that, he had said that he remained determined, a year after the start of his offensive in Ukraine, to continue it, while his army has been struggling for months on the battlefield, despite the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of reservists. 

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“To ensure the security of our country, to eliminate threats from an existing neo-Nazi regime in Ukraine since the 2014 coup, it was decided to carry out a special military operation. And we are going to settle step by step, carefully and methodically, the objectives that arise in front of us”, he hammered.

Faced with the political elite of the country and the soldiers who fought in Ukraine, he also thanked “all the Russian people for their courage and determination”.

Mr. Putin, however, did not outline a strategy for winning the conflict in Ukraine, nor did he mention Russian military losses, which Ukraine and the West say are abysmal.

Referring to the international sanctions that are hitting Russia, Mr. Putin estimated that the West “has not achieved anything and will not achieve anything”, while the Russian economy has resisted better than anticipated by the experts.


“We have ensured the stability of the economic situation, protected the citizens,” he noted, believing that the West had failed to “destabilize our society”. 

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According to him, the drop in GDP in 2022 of only 2.1% is a success. He also assured that inflation would soon stabilize near its 4% annual target.

Addressing wealthy Russian businessmen whose assets, yachts or accounts have been seized abroad as part of the sanctions, Mr Putin stressed that “no one among the simple people feels sorry for them”, recalling how an elite of oligarchs got rich at the fall of the USSR.

The Russian president therefore called on them to economic patriotism: “The sources of well-being, of the future must be here, in the native country, Russia”.

“Invest in Russia”, he said, “the state and society will support you”.

Vladimir Putin also called for the prosecution of “traitors” in Russia, in the midst of a crackdown on any voice critical of the Kremlin and the conflict in Ukraine, with arrests and heavy prison sentences.

“Those who have chosen to betray Russia must be held accountable before the law”, declared the Russian president, during a speech to the nation, before assuring that it was not a question for as much of a “witch hunt”.

No critical voice from the Kremlin is tolerated in Russia. Since the start of the assault on Ukraine, any criticism of the army has been punishable by 15 years in prison, and the few opposition figures who have not gone into exile have been imprisoned, like 'Ilia Yashin and Vladimir Kara-Murza. But many anonymous people have also been arrested for taking a stand against the Kremlin.

Tens of thousands of Russians, perhaps hundreds of thousands, have also gone into exile for a year, fearing repression or to be mobilized on the front.

Finally, Mr. Putin, as he has done for several years, again presented the West as decadent, believing that pedophilia had become a norm there.

“Look at what they are doing with their own peoples: the destruction of families, cultural and national identities, perversion and child abuse up to pedophilia, are declared to be the norm ( …). And priests are obliged to bless marriages between homosexuals,” he said in his speech.