Putin New Year’s message: Accusing the West of using Ukraine to destroy Russia
The Russian President Vladimir Putin said on New Year’s Eve, Saturday that Russia will never give in to Western attempts to use Ukraine as a tool to destroy Russia.
In a New Year’s video message broadcast on state the Russian television, Putin said Russia was fighting in Ukraine to protect its motherland and secure true independence for its people.
Putin accused the West of lying to Russia and provoking Moscow to launch the special military operation in Ukraine.
“Western elites have falsely reassured us for years of the soundness of their intentions,” Putin said in the speech delivered to Russian soldiers at the headquarters of the military district in southern Russia.
In an uncharacteristically belligerent New Year’s speech, usually reserved for wishing well for the coming year, “in fact, they encouraged in every possible way the neo-Nazis who unleashed terror against civilians in Donbas”.
Putin added, “The West lied about peace, and was preparing for aggression… and now he is cynically exploiting Ukraine and its people to weaken and divide Russia”.
“We’ve never allowed this and won’t allow anyone to do this to us,” Putin said.
Earlier on Saturday, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said victory in Ukraine was inevitable and hailed the heroism of Russian soldiers fighting on the fronts who were killed during the 10-months war.
“On the occasion of the New Year, I wish everyone health, fortitude, and the company of reliable and loyal comrades… And our victory, just like the New Year, is inevitable,” Shoigu said in a video released by the Ministry of Defense.
Shoigu acknowledged that everyone faced severe hardships in the past year and that the New Year was coming amid a difficult military-political situation.