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Putin casts war in Ukraine as a battle for Russia’s survival

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers his annual state of the nation handle, asserting that Moscow is suspending its nuclear arms treaty with the U.S.

Mikhail Metzel | Afp | Getty Photographs

Russian President Vladimir Putin forged the confrontation with the West over the Ukraine warfare as an existential battle for the survival of Russia and the Russian folks — and stated he was compelled to take note of NATO’s nuclear capabilities.

A 12 months since ordering the invasion of Ukraine, Putin is more and more presenting the warfare as a make-or-break second in Russian historical past — and saying that he believes the very way forward for Russia and its folks is in peril.

“They’ve one objective: to disband the previous Soviet Union and its elementary half — the Russian Federation,” Putin advised Rossiya 1 state tv in an interview recorded on Wednesday however launched on Sunday.

NATO and the West dismiss such a story, saying their goal is to assist Ukraine defend itself in opposition to an unprovoked assault.

Putin stated the West wished to divide up Russia after which management the world’s greatest producer of uncooked supplies, a step, he stated, that might effectively result in the destruction of lots of the peoples of Russia together with the ethnic Russian majority.

“I don’t even know if such an ethnic group because the Russian folks will have the ability to survive within the type during which it exists in the present day,” Putin stated. He stated the West’s plans had been put to paper, although didn’t specify the place.

America has denied that it needs to destroy Russia, whereas President Joe Biden has warned {that a} battle between Russia and NATO might set off World Struggle Three, although he has additionally stated Putin mustn’t stay in energy.

Putin stated the tens of billions of {dollars} value of U.S. and European navy help to Ukraine confirmed that Russia was now going through off in opposition to NATO itself — the Chilly Struggle nightmare of each Soviet and Western leaders.

Ukraine says it is not going to relaxation till each final Russian soldier is ejected from Ukraine, together with from Crimea which Russia annexed in 2014.

Russian doctrine

Putin’s existential framing of the warfare permits the 70-year-old Kremlin chief to gird the Russian folks for a a lot deeper battle whereas it additionally permits him a lot larger freedom within the sorts of weapons he might in the future use.

Russia’s official nuclear doctrine permits for the usage of nuclear weapons in the event that they — or different sorts of weapons of mass destruction — are used in opposition to it, or if typical weapons are used, which endanger “the very existence of the state.”

Putin has signaled he is able to rip up the structure of nuclear arms management – together with the massive powers’ moratorium on nuclear testing — until the West backs off in Ukraine.

On Tuesday, he sought to underscore Russian resolve in Ukraine by suspending a landmark nuclear arms management treaty, asserting new strategic methods had been placed on fight obligation and warning that Moscow might resume nuclear assessments.

Putin stated Russia would solely resume dialogue as soon as French and British nuclear weapons have been additionally taken under consideration.

Russia, which inherited the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons, has the world’s greatest retailer of nuclear warheads. It has extra warheads than the USA, France and Britain mixed, in response to the Federation of American Scientists.

“In in the present day’s circumstances, when all of the main NATO international locations have declared their major objective as inflicting a strategic defeat on us in order that our folks endure as they are saying, how can we ignore their nuclear capabilities in these circumstances?” Putin stated.

Putin stated the most important results of the previous 12 months was the unity of the Russian folks.


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