President Vladimir Putin delivered a serious speech on Wednesday 16 against opposition to his government in Russia. Shooting at Russians he considers “pro-Western”, he said that they should be “spit out like a fly” by the rest of the country’s citizens, urging them to “self-purify”.
“I am convinced that such a natural and necessary self-purification of society will only strengthen our country, our solidarity, our cohesion and our readiness to respond to any challenges,” said the Kremlin chief.
The message is addressed not only to the politically organized opposition, but to the part of society opposed, for example, to the “special military operation” developed in Ukraine and rejected by the Western powers.
The West, in Putin’s words, is waging a “total and undisguised” war against Russia. He also compared Western sanctions and pogroms anti-Semites executed by Nazis. Putin mentioned, for example, attempts to “cancel” Russia by “banning” the country’s music, culture and literature. “There is only one goal,” he argued: “The destruction of Russia.”
In the speech, broadcast on local TV, Putin also attacked customs in Europe and the United States.
“I do not judge those with villas in Miami or the French Riviera. Or who cannot live without oysters, Foie gras or the so-called ‘gender freedoms’, he insinuated. “The problem is that they are mentally there, not here, with our people, with Russia.”
The statement contrasts with the apparent progress in negotiations for an agreement between Moscow and Kiev in the military field. According to the British newspaper Financial Times, the two sides made significant progress in designing a peace agreement, which would include a ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territories. On the other hand, Kiev will have to guarantee its neutrality (giving up NATO membership) and accept limits to its armed forces.
The information was transmitted to the vehicle on Wednesday 16 by three people involved in the negotiations. According to FTRussia and Ukraine discussed the agreement for the first time on Monday 14.
The main obstacles to the deal would be the nature of the guarantees offered by Western powers to Ukraine – and the Russian reaction to them – and the status of territories such as Lugansk and Donestk, recognized as independent by Moscow.