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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 tackle, 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 mentioned he was compelled to take into consideration NATO’s nuclear capabilities.

A yr 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 aim: to disband the previous Soviet Union and its basic half — the Russian Federation,” Putin instructed 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 towards an unprovoked assault.

Putin mentioned the West wished to divide up Russia after which management the world’s largest producer of uncooked supplies, a step, he mentioned, that would properly 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 by which it exists as we speak,” Putin mentioned. He mentioned the West’s plans had been put to paper, although didn’t specify the place.

The US has denied that it needs to destroy Russia, whereas President Joe Biden has warned {that a} battle between Russia and NATO may set off World Battle Three, although he has additionally mentioned Putin shouldn’t stay in energy.

Putin mentioned the tens of billions of {dollars} value of U.S. and European army help to Ukraine confirmed that Russia was now dealing with off towards NATO itself — the Chilly Battle 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 higher freedom within the sorts of weapons he may someday 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 towards 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 techniques had been placed on fight responsibility and warning that Moscow may resume nuclear assessments.

Putin mentioned Russia would solely resume dialogue as soon as French and British nuclear weapons had been additionally taken into consideration.

Russia, which inherited the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons, has the world’s largest retailer of nuclear warheads. It has extra warheads than america, France and Britain mixed, in accordance with the Federation of American Scientists.

“In as we speak’s situations, when all of the main NATO international locations have declared their primary aim 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 situations?” Putin mentioned.

Putin mentioned the largest results of the previous yr was the unity of the Russian folks.


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