The collective West clinging on its “crumbling dominance” has been the ultimate driver of the crisis, Russian president says
© The Kremlin
President Vladimir Putin a gave an extensive speech on the Ukrainian crisis on Wednesday, as he met with regional heads to discuss measures of socioeconomic support to counter the wave of anti-Russian sanctions. Putin provided his take on the ongoing conflict with Ukraine, its causes, and the goals Russia pursues.
Conflict was inevitable
Launching the “special military operation” was the only option Russia had left to end the years-long bloodshed in eastern Ukraine, Putin stressed. At the same time, limiting its scope to the breakaway Donbass republics only would only push the “frontline” westwards, rather than defuse the situation, he noted.
While waging the war against the breakaway regions of Donbass, Kiev has been preparing for a broad offensive to re-capture them, Putin said, adding that “almost 14,000 civilians, including children, have been killed” in the conflict. Ukrainian authorities also sought to attack Crimea, which split from the country back in 2014 and joined Russia via a referendum.
“Encouraged by the United States and other Western countries, Ukraine was purposefully preparing for a scenario of force, a massacre and an ethnic cleansing in Donbass. A massive onslaught on Donbass and later Crimea was just a matter of time. However, our Armed Forces have shattered these plans,” Putin said.
Kiev actively sought weapons of mass destruction
Ukrainian authorities have openly stated their goal to obtain weapons of mass destruction, namely nuclear bombs and means of their delivery, Russia’s president has said. Given the extremely hostile attitude of Kiev, such systems would have been used to target Russia once they were ready.