Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the suspension of Russia's participation in a major arms control agreement with the US and accused western countries of igniting and fueling the war in Ukraine.
Addressing a joint session of the Russian parliament and Kremlin officials, Putin justified the military operation as Russia’s fight for its existence against the western intention to tear down their historical territory.
Ahead of first anniversary of the Russian invasion that has killed tens of thousands of people, Putin put the blame of war “entirely on western nations and kyiv”, saying the west seeks “limitless power”.
He said that Russia is “not fighting the Ukrainian,” the Ukrainian people “have become hostages to Kyiv regime and its Western allies.”
“Western elites aren’t trying to conceal their goals, to inflict a ‘strategic defeat’ to Russia,” said Putin, “They intend to transform the local conflict into a global opposition.”
“It’s they who have started the war. And we are using force to end it,” Putin said before an audience of lawmakers, state officials and soldiers who have fought in Ukraine.
President Putin equated Ukraine's "neo Nazi" government with Nazi Germany, and said Russia is defending itself as the Soviet Union defended its territory during World War II.
He accused Western nations of waging an failed attack on Russia’s economy with sanctions to make Russians suffer. "They haven't achieved anything, and they won't," said Putin.
Putin also accused the west of the West of launching “aggressive information attacks” because “it is impossible to defeat Russia on the battlefield.”