- Putin says Russia is battling for survival
- Putin says the Russian people cannot survive
- Putin says the West is trying to dismember Russia
- Russia will take into account NATO nuclear potential
MOSCOW, Feb 26 (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin cast the confrontation with the West over the Ukraine war as an existential battle for the existence of Russia and the Russian people – and said he had to take into account NATO’s nuclear capabilities.
A year after ordering the invasion of Ukraine, Putin is increasingly projecting the war as a make-or-break moment in Russian history – and saying he believes Russia and its The future of the people is in jeopardy.
“They have one goal: to dissolve the former Soviet Union and its fundamental part – the Russian Federation,” Putin told Rossiya 1 state television in an interview recorded on Wednesday but released on Sunday.
NATO and the West reject such narratives, saying they aim to help Ukraine defend itself against an unprovoked attack.
Putin said the West wanted to divide Russia and then take control of the world’s biggest producer of raw materials, a move he said could lead to the destruction of many Russians, including the ethnic Russian majority.
Putin said, “I don’t even know whether such an ethnic group as the Russian people will be able to survive in the form in which it exists today.” He said that West’s plans had been put down on paper, though did not specify where.
The United States has denied that it wants to destroy Russia, while President Joe Biden has warned that a conflict between Russia and NATO could trigger World War Three, although he has also said that Putin needs power. Shouldn’t stay in
Putin said the billions of dollars of US and European military aid to Ukraine shows Russia now faces NATO itself – a Cold War nightmare for both Soviet and Western leaders.
Ukraine says it will not rest until every last Russian soldier is expelled from Ukraine, including Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014.
Putin’s existential determination of war allows the 70-year-old Kremlin chief to prepare the Russian people for a deeper conflict, while giving them much more freedom in the types of weapons they might one day use.
Russia’s official nuclear doctrine allows the use of nuclear weapons if they – or other types of weapons of mass destruction – are used against it, or if conventional weapons are used that threaten the “existence of the state”. Let’s put in
Putin has signaled that he is prepared to dismantle the architecture of nuclear arms control – including major power moratoriums on nuclear testing – unless the West backs down in Ukraine.
On Tuesday, he tried to underscore Russia’s resolve by suspending a landmark nuclear arms control treaty in Ukraine, announced that new strategic systems had been put on combat duty and warned that Moscow might resume nuclear tests. Could
Putin said Russia would resume discussions only after French and British nuclear weapons were also considered.
Russia, which inherited nuclear weapons from the Soviet Union, has the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world. According to the Federation of American Scientists, it has more weapons than the United States, France and Britain combined.
“In today’s conditions, when all major NATO countries have declared their main goal as a strategic defeat on us, so that our people suffer as they say, how can we ignore their nuclear capabilities in these conditions Are?” Putin said.
Putin said that the biggest result of the past year was the unity of the Russian people.
Reporting Reuters, Editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Tomasz Janowski
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