Putin claims the West wants to destroy Russia

Vladimir Putin claims the West wants to destroy Russia and warns of Nato’s nuclear capabilities as he claims his people may not survive

  • Putin says the West is indirect accomplice to the ‘crimes’ committed by Ukraine
  • Read more: Russian leader delivers annual speech to Russian lawmakers

Vladimir Putin yesterday accused the West of wanting to liquidate Russia, claiming that his people may not survive.

The Russian president said Western countries were seeking to dismantle Russia, and Moscow had no choice but to take Nato’s nuclear capabilities into account.

Putin told state television channel Rossiya 1: ‘When all the leading Nato countries have declared their main goal as inflicting a strategic defeat on us, so that our people suffer as they say, how can we ignore their nuclear capabilities?’

Putin has repeatedly used the claim that the West wants to liquidate Russia to justify his aggression in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a wreath-laying ceremony at the Eternal Flame and the Unknown Soldier’s Grave in the Alexander Garden in Moscow

‘They have one goal: To disband the former Soviet Union and its fundamental part – the Russian Federation,’ Putin said in the interview recorded on Wednesday and broadcast yesterday. 

Appealing to nationalist sentiments, Putin said if the West succeeds in destroying Russia, ‘such an ethnic group as the Russian people may not be able to survive in the form in which it exists today’.

‘There will be Muscovites, Uralians and others,’ he said of Russia’s possible fragmentation. He also claimed that the West was an indirect accomplice to the ‘crimes’ committed by Ukraine.

Putin made the remarks while justifying Russia’s suspension of its participation in the New START treaty, which seeks to cap the number of nuclear warheads possessed by the US and Russia. 

He said the suspension stemmed from the need to ‘ensure security and stability’ for Russia.

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