MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday accused the West of utilizing the Ukraine battle to “be finished” with Russia, mentioned traitors have to be punished and proclaimed that Moscow had efficiently withstood Western sanctions.
“Western elites aren’t hiding their objective — to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia. It means to be finished with us as soon as and for all,” Putin mentioned three days earlier than the primary anniversary of the army intervention in Ukraine.
“The accountability for fuelling the Ukrainian battle, for its escalation, for the variety of victims… lies fully with Western elites,” Putin mentioned, repeating his declare that the West was supporting neo-Nazi forces in Ukraine.
Russia stays determined to fulfil all its duties in Ukraine, Putin mentioned.
His military has confronted a protracted sequence of humiliating defeats over the previous 12 months, even after the mobilisation of a whole lot of hundreds of reservists final September.
“To make sure the safety of our nation, to remove the risk that got here from the neo-Nazi regime that emerged in Ukraine after the 2014 coup, it was determined to conduct a particular army operation,” he mentioned.
“Step-by-step, we’ll fastidiously and systematically resolve the goals that face us.”
Talking in entrance of the political elites and servicemen who fought in Ukraine, Putin additionally “thanked your entire Russian folks for his or her braveness and dedication.”
He, nonetheless, didn’t element his technique to win on the bottom in Ukraine, nor did he elaborate on Russian army losses — which the West and Ukraine say are large.
Specialists have identified that the Russian financial system weathered Western sanctions over Moscow’s army intervention higher than anticipated.
“They haven’t succeeded and won’t succeed,” Putin mentioned.
“We ensured the steadiness of the financial state of affairs and guarded our residents,” Putin added, slamming Western makes an attempt to “destabilise our society.”
Russian official knowledge on Monday confirmed the financial system contracted by 2.1% final 12 months regardless of sanctions — far lower than had been anticipated.
Putin predicted inflation would quickly stabilise round its goal stage of 4%.
Referring to the Russian billionaires whose belongings, international accounts and yachts have been seized, Putin mentioned that “nobody amongst bizarre folks felt sorry for them.”
“Everybody should perceive that the sources of well-being and the longer term ought to be solely right here, of their native nation: Russia.”
“Put money into Russia,” he urged, “the state and society will help you.”
Traitors and paedophiles
Putin additionally indicated that Russian authorities might ramp up strain on dissenters, saying traitors have to be brough to justice.
“Those that have launched into the trail of betrayal of Russia have to be held accountable underneath the legislation,” Putin mentioned.
Nevertheless, he added that authorities wouldn’t unleash a “witch hunt” towards dissenters.
Because the starting of the offensive, the Russian authorities has cracked down laborious on what little remained of the opposition.
Criticism of Moscow’s offensive can result in jail sentences of as much as 15 years.
Putin, who regularly decries Western gender and sexual freedoms as an existential hazard, additionally mentioned paedophilia had turn out to be the norm within the West.
“Take a look at what they do to their very own folks: the destruction of households, of cultural and nationwide identities and the perversion that’s little one abuse all the best way as much as paedophilia are marketed because the norm… and monks are pressured to bless same-sex marriages,” Putin mentioned.