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Ukraine joining NATO is a direct threat to Russia: Putin

In an emotional speech, the Russian president says modern Ukraine is a state created by the Bolsheviks after the 1917 revolution



Russian President Vladimir Putin. — AP
Russian President Vladimir Putin. — AP

By Agencies

Published: Mon 21 Feb 2022, 11:43 PM

Last updated: Mon 21 Feb 2022, 11:49 PM

Russian President Vladimir Putin railed against Ukraine in a televised address on Monday, saying that neo-Nazis were on the rise, oligarchic clans were rife and that the ex-Soviet country was a US colony with a puppet regime.

He said that NATO had completely ignored Russia’s security demands and accused the West of trying to kick Moscow’s main proposals for security guarantees into the long grass.

Russia’s rouble, already under pressure from a vast Russian military buildup near Ukraine, tumbled to new weeks-long lows as he spoke from behind a wooden office desk flanked by Russian tricolour flags.

He described eastern Ukraine as ancient Russian lands and modern Ukraine as a state created by the Bolsheviks after the 1917 revolution.

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“As a result of Bolshevik policy, Soviet Ukraine arose, which even today can with good reason be called ‘Vladimir Ilyich Lenin’s Ukraine’. He is its author and architect. This is fully confirmed by archive documents... And now grateful descendants have demolished monuments to Lenin in Ukraine. This is what they call decommunisation. Do you want decommunisation? Well, that suits us just fine. But it is unnecessary, as they say, to stop halfway. We are ready to show you what real decommunisation means for Ukraine,” Putin said.

He said that Ukraine never had a tradition of genuine statehood and complained that post-Soviet Ukraine had wanted everything it could from Moscow without doing anything in return.

“If Ukraine was to join NATO it would serve as a direct threat to the security of Russia.”

Ahead of the speech, Putin said that Russia would decide on Monday whether or not to recognise the independence of two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine.


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