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Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the world in a lengthy speech last Wednesday outlining steps the Russian Federation will take in response to harsh economic sanctions levied by the West.
Though the corporate media reported on snippets of Putin’s speech, they also distorted the substance of his remarks and failed to provide the full context, which is presented here.
Putin appealed to the people of the West to realize their globalist governments are pushing the world towards war using Ukraine as a proxy and the U.S. dollar as a cudgel to punish its enemies. He also explained how the clandestine Biolabs in Ukraine, the West’s dismissal of Russia’s concerns about NATO expansion, and war crimes against the people of the Donbas region compelled Russia to act militarily.
Transcript of Putin’s full speech: We are meeting at a difficult time when our Armed Forces are conducting a special military operation in Ukraine and Donbass. Let me remind you that at its very beginning, in the early morning of February 24, I publicly and openly stated the reasons and the main goal of Russia’s actions.
It is to help our people in the Donbass, who for almost eight years have been subjected to the most barbaric methods, blockade, large-scale punitive actions, terrorist attacks and constant artillery shelling, a real genocide. And for what? Only because they sought elementary human rights, to live by the laws and traditions of their ancestors, to speak their native language, to raise their children the way they wanted.
At the same time, the authorities in Kyiv have not only ignored and sabotaged the implementation of the Minsk Package of Measures to peacefully resolve the crisis over all these years, but at the end of last year, they refused to implement it in public.
They have also begun the practical implementation of plans to join NATO. Moreover, the Kyiv authorities also announced their intention to build their own nuclear weapons and the means of their delivery. This was a real threat. Already in the foreseeable future, with foreign technical assistance, the Zionist-backed nationalist regime in Kiev could get its hands on weapons of mass destruction, and its target would, of course, be Russia.
There was also a network of dozens of laboratories in Ukraine where military biological programs, including experiments with samples of coronavirus, anthrax, cholera, African swine fever, and other deadly diseases were conducted under the direction and financial support of the Pentagon. Traces of these secret programs are now being strenuously covered up. But we have every reason to believe that components of biological weapons were in fact created in the immediate vicinity of Russia, on Ukrainian territory.
Our repeated warnings that this development posed a direct threat to Russia’s security were rejected by Ukraine and its US and NATO patrons with ostentatious and cynical disregard. Thus, all diplomatic options have been completely exhausted. We were simply left with no options to resolve peacefully the problems that arose through no fault of our own. And so, we were simply forced to launch a special military operation.
The appearance of Russian troops near Kiev and other cities in Ukraine is not connected with the intention to occupy this country. We do not have such a goal, and I also explicitly stated this in my address on February 24.
As for the combat tactics that have been developed by the Russian Ministry of Defence and our General Staff, they have fully justified themselves. And our guys, soldiers and officers, are showing courage and heroism, doing everything in their power to avoid casualties among the civilian population of Ukrainian cities.
I want to say this for the first time: at the very beginning of the operation in Donbas, the Kiev authorities were asked through various channels, in order to avoid senseless bloodshed, not to engage in combat operations, but simply to withdraw their troops from Donbas. They did not want to. Well, that is their decision. The realization of what is happening in the real situation, on the ground, will come inevitably. The operation is progressing successfully, in strict accordance with pre-approved plans.
I would like to note that Ukraine, encouraged by the United States and a number of Western countries, was purposefully preparing for a violent scenario, a bloodbath and ethnic cleansing in Donbass. A massive offensive on the Donbass and then on Crimea was only a matter of time. And our Armed Forces thwarted these plans.
Kiev was not only preparing for war, for aggression against Russia, against Donbass, they were waging it. Attempts to organize sabotage and a terrorist underground in Crimea did not stop. In recent years, fighting continued in Donbas, shelling of peaceful settlements. During this time almost 14 thousand civilians have been killed, including children.
On March 14, as you know, there was a rocket attack on the centre of Donetsk. It was an outright bloody attack that killed more than 20 people. And this kind of shelling has been going on for the last few days. They hit indiscriminately, in squares, with the fanaticism and frenzy of the doomed.
But what is striking in its extreme cynicism is not only Kiev’s unapologetic lies and claims that it was Russia (they thought of that too!) that allegedly launched a missile at Donetsk, but also that the so-called civilized Western world, the European and American press did not even notice the Donetsk tragedy, as if it never happened.
In the same hypocritical way, they turned a blind eye during the last eight years, when mothers in Donbass buried their children. When old people were killed. This is just some kind of moral degradation, a complete dehumanization.
The many years of mockery of the people of Donbass could no longer be tolerated. And to put an end to the genocide, Russia recognized the people’s republics of Donbass and concluded treaties of friendship and mutual assistance with them. On the basis of these agreements, the republics turned to our country for military assistance in repelling the aggression. And we provided this assistance, we simply could not, had no right to do otherwise.
But what I want to emphasize and ask you to pay attention to: if our troops had acted only on the territory of the people’s republics, helped them liberate their land, this would not have been the final solution, would not have led to peace and would not have eliminated the threat fundamentally, to our country, already to Russia. On the contrary, there would have been a new front line around Donbass and along its borders, and shelling and provocations would have continued. In other words, the armed conflict would drag on endlessly, fuelled by the revanchist hysteria of the Kiev regime, and NATO’s military infrastructure in Ukraine would deploy even faster and more aggressively: we would be faced with the fact that the Alliance’s offensive weapons are already at our borders.
I repeat, we would have had no other option for self-defence, for Russia’s security, except a special military operation. And all the tasks we have set ourselves will certainly be accomplished. We will reliably ensure the security of Russia and our people and we will never allow Ukraine to serve as a springboard for aggressive actions against our country.
These are issues that are fundamental for Russia and our future – the neutral status of Ukraine, demilitarization and denationalization – we were ready and willing to discuss during the negotiations. Our country has done everything to organize and conduct these negotiations, understanding that every opportunity must be used to save people and their lives.
But again, and again we are convinced that the Kiev regime, which has been tasked by its Western masters to create an aggressive anti-Russia, is indifferent to the fate of the people of Ukraine. The fact that people are dying, the fact that hundreds of thousands, millions have become refugees, the fact that there is a real humanitarian disaster in the cities held by armed criminals released from prisons, everything is indifferent.
It is also obvious that Western patrons are simply pushing the Kiev authorities to continue the bloodshed. They are being supplied with more and more weapons, intelligence, and other assistance, including military advisers and mercenaries.
They have also chosen as a weapon economic, financial, trade and other sanctions against Russia, which are now hitting the Europeans and Americans themselves, by the way, through rising prices of gasoline, energy, food, through the loss of jobs associated with the Russian market. And you must not, as they say, put the blame on our country.
I want the ordinary citizens of Western countries to hear me as well: they are now trying to persuade you that all your difficulties are the result of some hostile actions of Russia, that your own purse should be used to pay for the fight against the mythical Russian threat. All of this is a lie.
The truth is that the current problems faced by millions of people in the West are the result of years of action, error, short-sightedness, and ambition on the part of the ruling elites of their states. These elites are not thinking about how to improve the lives of their citizens in Western countries. They are obsessed with their own self-interest and super-profits.
This is evidenced by data from international organizations, which clearly show that social problems, even in the leading Western countries, have only worsened in recent years, that inequality, the gap between rich and poor, and racial and national conflicts are on the rise. The myth of a Western welfare society, of the so-called golden billion, is crumbling.
I repeat, today the entire planet has to pay the price for the West’s ambitions, for its attempts to maintain its elusive dominance by any means.
The imposition of sanctions is a logical continuation, a concentrated expression of the irresponsible, short-sighted policy of the governments and central banks of the United States and EU countries. It is they who in recent years have with their own hands unleashed a spiral of global inflation, their actions have led to an increase in global poverty and in inequality, to new flows of refugees around the world. And the question arises: Who will now be responsible for the millions of starving deaths in the world’s poorest countries due to growing food shortages? Again, this is a serious blow to the entire global economy and trade, to the credibility of the U.S. dollar as the main reserve currency.
Thus, illegitimate actions to freeze part of the currency reserves of the Bank of Russia draw a line under the reliability of the so-called first-class assets. In fact, both the U.S. and the EU have declared a real default on their obligations to Russia. Now everyone knows that financial reserves (of other nations) can be simply stolen. And, seeing this, many countries may begin in the near future, I am sure this will happen, to convert their paper and digital savings into real reserves in the form of commodities, land, food, gold, other real assets, which will only increase the deficit in these markets.
I would add that the seizure of foreign assets and accounts of Russian companies and individuals is also a lesson for national business, that there is nothing more reliable than investing in one’s own country. I told this myself more than once. We appreciate the position of those foreign companies that, despite the unscrupulous pressure from the United States and their vassals, continue to work in our country. In the future, they will surely get additional opportunities for development.
We also know those who cowardly betrayed their partners, forgot about their responsibility to their employees and clients in Russia, and rushed to earn illusory dividends on their participation in the anti-Russian campaign. At the same time, unlike Western countries, we will respect property rights.
What do I want to emphasize? We need to clearly understand that a new package of sanctions and restrictions against us would have followed in any scenario. I want to stress this. Our military operation in Ukraine is just a pretext for the West to impose new sanctions. Yes, of course, they are concentrated now. But the referendum in Crimea, which took place, incidentally, on March 16, 2014, exactly eight years ago, in the course of which the residents of Crimea and Sevastopol made their free choice to join their historic homeland, was the same [reason] for them, for Westerners.
Let me repeat: we are only talking about occasions. But the policy of containing and weakening Russia, including through economic isolation and blockade, is a conscious, long-term strategy. Western leaders themselves are no longer hiding the fact that sanctions are not aimed at individuals or companies; their goal is to hit our entire domestic economy, our social and humanitarian sphere, every family, every citizen of Russia.
In fact, such steps aimed at worsening the lives of millions of people have all the hallmarks of aggression, a war by economic, political and informational means. It is total and unconcealed, and, I repeat, the so-called Western political elite is not even shy about speaking about it in plain words.
All the verbal tinsel about political correctness, inviolability of private property, freedom of speech, all of this disappeared overnight. Even the Olympic principles were trampled. They were not shy about settling scores with the Paralympians either, that’s how ‘sports outside politics’ are.
In many Western countries, people just for the fact that they come from Russia are being persecuted today: they refuse medical care, expel children from schools, put their parents out of work, ban Russian music, culture and literature.
In attempting to ‘abolish’ Russia, the West stripped itself of all masks of decency, began to act in a boorish manner, and demonstrated its true nature. Direct analogies are just begging to be drawn with the anti-Semitic pogroms carried out by the Nazis in Germany in the 1930s and later by allies from many European countries who joined Hitler’s aggression against our country during the Great Patriotic War.
Against Russia deployed a massive attack in cyberspace. The unprecedented information campaign in which the global social networks and all western mass media which objectivity and independence have appeared simply a myth is unleashed. Access to information is restricted, people are flooded with a huge number of fakes, propaganda fakes, in other words, fakes. It has gone so far that one of the American social networks has directly stated that publications calling for the murder of Russian citizens are possible.
We understand what resources this empire of lies has, but it is still powerless against truth and justice. Russia will consistently make its position known to the world. Our position is honest and open, and more and more people hear it, understand it and share it.
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I want to say very frankly: there are hostile geopolitical goals behind the hypocritical talks and current actions of the so-called collective West. They do not need, simply do not need, a strong and sovereign Russia; they will not forgive us for our independent course or for defending our national interests.
We remember how they supported separatism, terrorism, encouraging terrorists and bandits in the North Caucasus. As they did in the 1990s and early 2000s, they want to repeat their attempt to finish us off, to crush us off, to drive us beyond Mozhai, as they say, to turn us into a ‘national enemy’. Source
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