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.
Putin also touched upon the Ukrainian biolab network allegations, raised by the Russian military amid the offensive. The facilities scattered across the country have allegedly been engaged in biological weapons development with direct support of Washington. The allegations, backed by documents published by the Russian military, have been met with varying degrees of denial from the top US officials.
“There was a network of dozens of laboratories in Ukraine, where military biological programs were conducted under the guidance and with the financial support of the Pentagon, including experiments with coronavirus strains, anthrax, cholera, African swine fever and other deadly diseases,” Putin said, adding that now “frantic attempts” are underway to conceal the “traces of these secret programs.”
Ukraine established as ‘anti-Russia’
Over the past few years, under the close guidance of their Western handlers, the Kiev authorities have morphed Ukraine into “anti-Russia”, Putin suggested. The only goal of the incumbent Kiev “regime” is to drag the conflict on for as long as possible, with little regard to the fate of the civilians or destruction that ensues.
“We are seeing again and again that the Kiev regime, for which its Western masters have set the task of creating an aggressive ‘anti-Russia’, is indifferent to the fate of the people of Ukraine themselves,” Putin said.
“It is also obvious that the Western handlers are simply pushing the Kiev authorities to continue the bloodshed. They are supplied with more and more weaponry batches, they are provided with intelligence, they also receive other assistance, including military advisers and mercenaries.”
Kiev & West exhibit ‘shocking cynicism’
Both Ukrainian authorities and the collective West have exhibited “shocking cynicism” amid the conflict, Putin said, offering the ballistic missile strike on the center of Donetsk that occurred on Monday as an example of such behavior. The strike killed at least 20 civilians.