Putin increases pressure on the West after suspending START III treaty and announcing readiness to “test nuclear munitions”
Everything was ready in Moscow on Tuesday for the expected first address to the nation since the invasion of Ukraine began by Russian President Vladimir Putin. This appearance was scheduled for the end of 2022, but was delayed to coincide with the anniversary of the conflict. Before a packed hall that did not hesitate to interrupt the president to shower him with resounding applause, Putin spoke for nearly two hours. Mentions of the West were not long in coming and the accusatory tone increased as the minutes passed. At the climax of his speech and as a final climax, Putin left aside the warmongering rhetoric intended for his acolytes to announce a measure which, although not expected, was not surprising: Russia would cease to participate in the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. (START III).
This pact was the last one signed with the United States for the reduction of its strategic arsenals and control of nuclear weapons. Putin assured that “everything was going very well with the existing agreement of 2010”, but that it was already a thing of the past and “is forgotten.” because “the United States abandoned it”. The Russian leader has accused the US of building an order where “there is only one owner” and where there is no relation between the agreements and the West’s statements against Russia:”They want to defeat us And at the same time examine our nuclear facilities.”
The Russian leader pointed out that it is not a question of completely “abandoning” the treaty, but rather of “suspend participation”. Thus, he called NATO’s calls for Russia to comply with the treaty “absurd”, especially after the Alliance denounced Russia’s non-compliance with the treaty in early February and called on Moscow to fulfill its obligations.
Putin has indicated that Russia should be prepared to conduct nuclear tests if the United States conducts them first: “The United States is developing new nuclear munitions, and the Russian Defense Ministry must prepare the necessary tests and trials here. We are not going to be the first, but if this type of testing is done by the U.S., then we are also going to test new nuclear munitions.
He assures that he will achieve “step by step” his goals.
During the speech many were the messages aimed at instilling optimism in their ranks, where the warmongering tone of this last year continues just as in force. Putin assured that Russia will achieve “step by step” its goals in Ukraine. and that it will therefore go all the way in the neighboring country, while describing the moment the nation is going through as “difficult”.
“A year ago, in order to protect the people in our historic lands, to ensure the security of our country, to eliminate the threat posed by the neo-Nazi regime that emerged in Ukraine after the coup of 2014., a decision was made to conduct a special military operation,” the president noted. “Step by step, carefully and consistently, we will solve the tasks we face,” he stressed in a speech that did not skimp on linking the Ukrainian government to Nazi Germany.
From 2014, he argued, the Donbas “fought, defended the right to live on their own land, speak their native language, fought and did not give up in the conditions of the blockade and constant shelling, undisguised hatred of the Kiev regime, and believed and waited for Russia to come to his rescue“.
The head of the Kremlin indicated that he did “everything possible” to resolve the problem “by peaceful means” and “patiently negotiated a peaceful way out.” However, he accused Ukraine and Western countries of plotting “behind their backs a completely different scenario.”. “The promises of the Western rulers, their assurances about the desire for peace in the Donbas turned out to be, as we now see, a falsehood, a cruel lie,” he said.
“And I want to emphasize that even before the start of the special military operation, Kiev was negotiating with the West on the supply of air defense systems, fighter jets and other heavy equipment to Ukraine,” he alleged, while again accusing Ukraine of having attempted to “acquire nuclear weapons.”
Military bases and biological laboratories
Amid constant accusations of the U.S. and NATO, Putin claimed that they had “rapidly deployed their military bases and biological laboratories Secret ones near the Russian borders,” and of preparing an “enslaved Ukraine for a great war.” “Today they admit it publicly, without hesitation. They seem to be proud, reveling in their treachery, calling both the Minsk Agreements and the Normandy format a diplomatic performance, a bluff,” he denounced.
In this regard, Putin has asserted that his “operation” in Ukraine is in defense and that it was the West “who triggered the war.” “We have used force and we are using it to stop it,” he said. The head of state also assured that it will be forced to move the threat away from its borders if Ukraine receives long-range weapons. “One circumstance should be clear to everyone: the more Western long-range systems arrive in Ukraine, the more we will be forced to move the threat away from our borders.. This is only natural,” he stressed.
Putin considered that “the vast majority of citizens have taken a principled position on a special military operation, understood the meaning of the actions we are taking and have adopted our actions to protect the Donbas.” “This support reveals true patriotism, which is a sentiment historically inherent in our people.“, he said, and thanking “all the people of Russia for their courage and determination”.
“The responsibility for the outbreak of the Ukrainian conflict, for the escalation, for the increase in the number of victims rests entirely on the Western elites and, of course, on the current one of the Kiev regime,” he stressed. Putin warned that on the battlefield it is “impossible” for them to lose because they are “invincible.”ending his speech by affirming that “they are a unique country” and that “with them is the truth”.