Putin accuses West of war in Ukraine and of trying to cancel Russia – 03/16/2022 – World

In an aggressive new speech about the crisis in Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin turned his batteries against the West, whom he accused of wanting to “cancel Russia”. “The attempt to achieve global domination is coming to an end,” he said.

It is the most unequivocal demonstration by Putin to hold the West responsible for the war he has been carrying out for three weeks in the neighbourhood. It comes amidst several diplomatic moves, including the US, to try to achieve a ceasefire.

It can thus be read as a display to the domestic public of determination and inflexibility, as an acceptable solution is drawn up and the Russians maintain their military campaign with attacks on several cities, but not a decisive offensive.

Putin was speaking to cabinet ministers at a televised meeting. He has brought the harsh sanctions applied by the US and allies to the center of his criticism. “They want to hit every Russian family,” he said, saying the country’s default on its debt “was imposed” by an “economic blitzkrieg.”

With perhaps half of his $640 billion in foreign exchange reserves frozen overseas, Putin said: “Actions show that gold and foreign reserves can simply be stolen.”

It is the strongest statement against the sanctions regime so far. Putin spoke of the expectation of more inflation and unemployment and that this is all a “long-term plan” by the West to “contain Russia”. “The West doesn’t even bother to hide the goal of hitting the entire Russian economy, every Russian. It is on an unprecedented information campaign against Russia. It’s an empire of lies.”

The militarist-historical tone followed, with the accusation that the West is doing the equivalent of “anti-Semitic pogroms in Germany”. [nazista]”. Pogrom, in origin, is a Russian word (cause destruction) to determine the persecutions of Jews in the Russian Empire in the 19th century, being later applied worldwide.

In this way, Putin put the idea that his war is just a reaction to western expansion, through the accession of 14 ex-communist countries to NATO, the western military alliance, since 1999, once and for all.

In a tone reminiscent of Russian nuclear doctrine, which predicts the use of the atomic bomb in cases of “existential threat”, Putin says he is fighting in Ukraine for “Russia’s survival, for the future of our children”. Fears that the conflict will spread across the region, especially to countries more aggressive towards Moscow, such as Poland, has revived fears of a Third World War.

He repeated that the special military operation, Russia’s permissible jargon for the war, was “successful according to plan”, and warned Kiev that the West “is pushing Ukraine towards more bloodshed”. He again said that the US was creating an “anti-Russia” in the neighboring country and that it would “not allow it to become a platform to attack” Moscow.

He also said that he was willing to discuss the terms for Ukraine’s neutrality, namely Kiev’s resignation from joining NATO, but also that its war would continue to “fulfill its objectives”. “We don’t want to occupy Ukraine,” he said. If true, it may have to do with reality on the ground, with protests and the risk of Ukrainian insurgency in Russian-controlled cities, most notably Kherson.

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