Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the annexation of four Ukrainian oblasts under partial occupation by the Russian Army. Blatantly fraudulent referendums preceded this announcement in all four areas. You can read my analysis at Putin’s Illegal Annexation of Ukrainian Territory Marks the Beginning of a War Without a Perceivable End.
The announcement had a lot of imperial trappings inside (gilt doors and goose-stepping sentries) and outside a neo-fascist bleating to a crowd about “holy war” in Ukraine. However, the most interesting part was not the annexation announcement but Putin’s speech. I’ve long believed that when your enemies tell you what their objectives are, you should at least shut up long enough to pay attention. I’m going to comment upon the text of the speech and finish it up with thoughts about what it means. Let’s have a go at it.
TRANSCRIPT AND COMMENTARY
Citizens of Russia, citizens of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, residents of the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, deputies of the State Duma, senators of the Russian Federation,
As you know, referendums have been held in the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics and the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. The ballots have been counted and the results have been announced. The people have made their unequivocal choice.
Today we will sign treaties on the accession of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Lugansk People’s Republic, Zaporozhye Region and Kherson Region to the Russian Federation. I have no doubt that the Federal Assembly will support the constitutional laws on the accession to Russia and the establishment of four new regions, our new constituent entities of the Russian Federation, because this is the will of millions of people. (Applause.)
It is undoubtedly their right, an inherent right sealed in Article 1 of the UN Charter, which directly states the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.
This is a gross misrepresentation of Article I of the UN Charter. Self-determination is interpreted as existing within the context of territorial integrity. Carried to its logical conclusion, Russia would be forced to recognize the independence of Kosovo from its Serbian client state. At least in Kosovo, the independence referendum wasn’t a f***-you, in-your-face fraud. Self-determination doesn’t allow any country to invade another, conduct a sham vote, and then annex territory. Truly stupid people will agree with Putin, but that’s about all who he has left supporting him.
I repeat, it is an inherent right of the people. It is based on our historical affinity, and it is that right that led generations of our predecessors, those who built and defended Russia for centuries since the period of Ancient Rus, to victory.
Here in Novorossiya, [Pyotr] Rumyantsev, [Alexander] Suvorov and [Fyodor] Ushakov fought their battles, and Catherine the Great and [Grigory] Potyomkin founded new cities. Our grandfathers and great-grandfathers fought here to the bitter end during the Great Patriotic War.
It won’t be lost on many that this same argument applies to Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Belarus, Moldova, and Eastern Poland. All were parts of Russia, ruled by the czars and “liberated” by Russia during World War II. The Baltic States were even annexed. But, as I’ve noted before, the vision of Vladimir Putin is one of a rejuvenated Imperial Russia of the Romanovs, not a USSR 2.0 (see Putin’s Threats to Sweden and Finland Are Much More Real Than They Are Being Given Credit For).
We will always remember the heroes of the Russian Spring, those who refused to accept the neo-Nazi coup d’état in Ukraine in 2014, all those who died for the right to speak their native language, to preserve their culture, traditions and religion, and for the very right to live. We remember the soldiers of Donbass, the martyrs of the “Odessa Khatyn,” the victims of inhuman terrorist attacks carried out by the Kiev regime. We commemorate volunteers and militiamen, civilians, children, women, senior citizens, Russians, Ukrainians, people of various nationalities; popular leader of Donetsk Alexander Zakharchenko; military commanders Arsen Pavlov and Vladimir Zhoga, Olga Kochura and Alexei Mozgovoy; prosecutor of the Lugansk Republic Sergei Gorenko; paratrooper Nurmagomed Gadzhimagomedov and all our soldiers and officers who died a hero’s death during the special military operation. They are heroes. (Applause.) Heroes of great Russia. Please join me in a minute of silence to honour their memory.
There is no sense in revisiting the grotesque characterization of the popular revolt against Putin’s stooge in 2014. No amount of convincing will change the minds of those who get their intellectual content from Oliver Stone and believe George Soros, with Victoria Nuland as a shield bearer, turfed out a Ukrainian George Washington. (A brief outline of events is here.) Moreover, the bullsh** about the “martyrs of the “Odessa Khatyn” is hilarious. As best I can tell, he’s talking about 42 pro-Russian demonstrators were killed in a street battle. Comparing this in scope or design to the 22,000 Poles executed by Russia is a degree of moral corruption one would have thought even Putin couldn’t reach.
(Minute of silence.)
Behind the choice of millions of residents in the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, in the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, is our common destiny and thousand-year history. People have passed this spiritual connection on to their children and grandchildren. Despite all the trials they endured, they carried the love for Russia through the years. This is something no one can destroy. That is why both older generations and young people – those who were born after the tragic collapse of the Soviet Union – have voted for our unity, for our common future.
In 1991 in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, representatives of the party elite of that time made a decision to terminate the Soviet Union, without asking ordinary citizens what they wanted, and people suddenly found themselves cut off from their homeland. This tore apart and dismembered our national community and triggered a national catastrophe. Just like the government quietly demarcated the borders of Soviet republics, acting behind the scenes after the 1917 revolution, the last leaders of the Soviet Union, contrary to the direct expression of the will of the majority of people in the referendum of 1991, destroyed our great country, and simply made the people in the former republics face this as an accomplished fact.
I can admit that they didn’t even know what they were doing and what consequences their actions would have in the end. But it doesn’t matter now. There is no Soviet Union anymore; we cannot return to the past. Actually, Russia no longer needs it today; this isn’t our ambition. But there is nothing stronger than the determination of millions of people who, by their culture, religion, traditions, and language, consider themselves part of Russia, whose ancestors lived in a single country for centuries. There is nothing stronger than their determination to return to their true historical homeland.
This is the same argument made by MEChA types who want to return large parts of the American Southwest to Mexico. It is the same argument that opposes English as the common language of the United States. It is a blood-and-soil view of nationhood that can be called upon at any time to justify war and invasion.
For eight long years, people in Donbass were subjected to genocide, shelling and blockades; in Kherson and Zaporozhye, a criminal policy was pursued to cultivate hatred for Russia, for everything Russian. Now too, during the referendums, the Kiev regime threatened schoolteachers, women who worked in election commissions with reprisals and death. Kiev threatened millions of people who came to express their will with repression. But the people of Donbass, Zaporozhye and Kherson weren’t broken, and they had their say.
I want the Kiev authorities and their true handlers in the West to hear me now, and I want everyone to remember this: the people living in Lugansk and Donetsk, in Kherson and Zaporozhye have become our citizens, forever. (Applause.)
We call on the Kiev regime to immediately cease fire and all hostilities; to end the war it unleashed back in 2014 and return to the negotiating table. We are ready for this, as we have said more than once. But the choice of the people in Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson will not be discussed. The decision has been made, and Russia will not betray it. (Applause.) Kiev’s current authorities should respect this free expression of the people’s will; there is no other way. This is the only way to peace.
We will defend our land with all the forces and resources we have, and we will do everything we can to ensure the safety of our people. This is the great liberating mission of our nation.
This is how any of this works. It really isn’t. You can’t invade, annex, and demand peace. In particular, you can’t do it when you are in no position to enforce your ill-gotten gains by force of arms.
We will definitely rebuild the destroyed cities and towns, the residential buildings, schools, hospitals, theatres and museums. We will restore and develop industrial enterprises, factories, infrastructure, as well as the social security, pension, healthcare and education systems.
Tell that to the 20+% of Russians living below what is considered the poverty line in Russia. Tell that to a people who are devastated by AIDS, drug abuse, and alcoholism and where abortion is a common means of contraception.
We will certainly work to improve the level of security. Together we will make sure that citizens in the new regions can feel the support of all the people of Russia, of the entire nation, all the republics, territories and regions of our vast Motherland. (Applause.)
Today I would like to address our soldiers and officers who are taking part in the special military operation, the fighters of Donbass and Novorossiya, those who went to military recruitment offices after receiving a call-up paper under the executive order on partial mobilisation, and those who did this voluntarily, answering the call of their hearts. I would like to address their parents, wives and children, to tell them what our people are fighting for, what kind of enemy we are up against, and who is pushing the world into new wars and crises and deriving blood-stained benefits from this tragedy.
Our compatriots, our brothers and sisters in Ukraine who are part of our united people have seen with their own eyes what the ruling class of the so-called West have prepared for humanity as a whole. They have dropped their masks and shown what they are really made of.
When the Soviet Union collapsed, the West decided that the world and all of us would permanently accede to its dictates. In 1991, the West thought that Russia would never rise after such shocks and would fall to pieces on its own. This almost happened. We remember the horrible 1990s, hungry, cold and hopeless. But Russia remained standing, came alive, grew stronger and occupied its rightful place in the world.
Meanwhile, the West continued and continues looking for another chance to strike a blow at us, to weaken and break up Russia, which they have always dreamed about, to divide our state and set our peoples against each other, and to condemn them to poverty and extinction. They cannot rest easy knowing that there is such a great country with this huge territory in the world, with its natural wealth, resources and people who cannot and will not do someone else’s bidding.
The West is ready to cross every line to preserve the neo-colonial system which allows it to live off the world, to plunder it thanks to the domination of the dollar and technology, to collect an actual tribute from humanity, to extract its primary source of unearned prosperity, the rent paid to the hegemon. The preservation of this annuity is their main, real and absolutely self-serving motivation. This is why total de-sovereignisation is in their interest. This explains their aggression towards independent states, traditional values and authentic cultures, their attempts to undermine international and integration processes, new global currencies and technological development centres they cannot control. It is critically important for them to force all countries to surrender their sovereignty to the United States.
In certain countries, the ruling elites voluntarily agree to do this, voluntarily agree to become vassals; others are bribed or intimidated. And if this does not work, they destroy entire states, leaving behind humanitarian disasters, devastation, ruins, millions of wrecked and mangled human lives, terrorist enclaves, social disaster zones, protectorates, colonies and semi-colonies. They don’t care. All they care about is their own benefit.
I want to underscore again that their insatiability and determination to preserve their unfettered dominance are the real causes of the hybrid war that the collective West is waging against Russia. They do not want us to be free; they want us to be a colony. They do not want equal cooperation; they want to loot. They do not want to see us a free society, but a mass of soulless slaves.
They see our thought and our philosophy as a direct threat. That is why they target our philosophers for assassination. Our culture and art present a danger to them, so they are trying to ban them. Our development and prosperity are also a threat to them because competition is growing. They do not want or need Russia, but we do. (Applause.)
It is hard to know what to make of this. Contrary to Putin’s myth, Russia was treated with kid gloves after the breakup of the USSR. It, with absolutely no merit or justification, was awarded a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. Russia was deemed the successor to numerous treaties, some of which put the US at a grave disadvantage vis-a-vis China (like that on intermediate-range nuclear weapons), to make Russia feel good about itself. Russia, with a GDP smaller than Texas, was treated as a major power.
I would like to remind you that in the past, ambitions of world domination have repeatedly shattered against the courage and resilience of our people. Russia will always be Russia. We will continue to defend our values and our Motherland.
The West is counting on impunity, on being able to get away with anything. As a matter of fact, this was actually the case until recently. Strategic security agreements have been trashed; agreements reached at the highest political level have been declared tall tales; firm promises not to expand NATO to the east gave way to dirty deception as soon as our former leaders bought into them; missile defence, intermediate-range and shorter-range missile treaties have been unilaterally dismantled under far-fetched pretexts.
And all we hear is, the West is insisting on a rules-based order. Where did that come from anyway? Who has ever seen these rules? Who agreed or approved them? Listen, this is just a lot of nonsense, utter deceit, double standards, or even triple standards! They must think we’re stupid.
Russia is a great thousand-year-old power, a whole civilisation, and it is not going to live by such makeshift, false rules. (Applause.)
This is a key point. It is a declaration by Putin that Russia is a rogue state that will only use international norms when they work to its advantage because Russia, by its very nature, is not subject to rules. Indeed, one of my favorite commenters on Russia, Moscow-based Wilson Center scholar Kamil Galeev, would probably say the declaration that rules can’t bind Russia resonates with Russians.
In America being a "good family man" is usually considered a prerequisite for the high political career. You must be one, or at least persuade enough voters that you are. So Americans casually assume Russian politics work just like this. But they don't pic.twitter.com/tbnWrGFYiZ
— Kamil Galeev (@kamilkazani) September 1, 2022
I don't really like the term "democracy" for too many reasons. I don't want to go into discussion into whether "the people" do actually rule anywhere. I would ask another question. Is this or that regime
Russia falls under the second category pic.twitter.com/dfyimeFupB
— Kamil Galeev (@kamilkazani) September 1, 2022
Kirienko's statement that "Russian state is not based upon agreements" should be read in this context.
Contractual = Limited = Dishonourable
Contractual = You faced the interest of the second party and had to back off, giving them concessions. What kind of Tsar you are? pic.twitter.com/hfVyL3o6F2
— Kamil Galeev (@kamilkazani) September 1, 2022
Accepting the sacred will of the Tsar without questions or complaints is regarded as a semireligious virtue. All the money are the Sovereign's money. All the power derives from the Sovereign. Many regard their obedience as a true, moral behaviour. Unquestioning obedience = virtue pic.twitter.com/ubWwMkxogj
— Kamil Galeev (@kamilkazani) September 1, 2022
You must keep this in mind to understand why Gorbachev's relationship with his wife brought so much hatred. People will obey to the supreme power humbly and patiently, seeing it as a semi religious virtue. The power is unquestionable, impenetrable, no one can influence the Tsar pic.twitter.com/yldU9za82I
— Kamil Galeev (@kamilkazani) September 1, 2022
Unlike in America, in Russia too close familial relations are a liability for a politician, and certainly for the supreme ruler. In the public consciousness, Gorbachev rhymes with Nicholas II
Destroyed his empire
They're not really hated. They're mostly despised pic.twitter.com/9lJxzKAbwL
— Kamil Galeev (@kamilkazani) September 1, 2022
PS As a very brief and sketchy introduction to the public perception of monarchs/quasimonarchs and its dynamics, I strongly recommend listening to this song "Tsar Nicky". See lyrics in the description. The endhttps://t.co/AEgD4wocr5
— Kamil Galeev (@kamilkazani) September 1, 2022
It was the so-called West that trampled on the principle of the inviolability of borders, and now it is deciding, at its own discretion, who has the right to self-determination and who does not, who is unworthy of it. It is unclear what their decisions are based on or who gave them the right to decide in the first place. They just assumed it.
That is why the choice of the people in Crimea, Sevastopol, Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson makes them so furiously angry. The West does not have any moral right to weigh in, or even utter a word about freedom of democracy. It does not and it never did.
Western elites not only deny national sovereignty and international law. Their hegemony has pronounced features of totalitarianism, despotism and apartheid. They brazenly divide the world into their vassals – the so-called civilised countries – and all the rest, who, according to the designs of today’s Western racists, should be added to the list of barbarians and savages. False labels like “rogue country” or “authoritarian regime” are already available, and are used to stigmatise entire nations and states, which is nothing new. There is nothing new in this: deep down, the Western elites have remained the same colonisers. They discriminate and divide peoples into the top tier and the rest.
And yet, Putin leads a nation that has a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, that is treated, against all evidence, like a superpower, and that is invited to gatherings of economically important nations. And the man who says the West “deny national sovereignty and international law” has just said that Russia will be bound by neither.
We have never agreed to and will never agree to such political nationalism and racism. What else, if not racism, is the Russophobia being spread around the world? What, if not racism, is the West’s dogmatic conviction that its civilisation and neoliberal culture is an indisputable model for the entire world to follow? “You’re either with us or against us.” It even sounds strange.
Russophobia? lolgf. How long until Ibram X. Kendi starts peddling his CRT grift to the Kremlin?
Western elites are even shifting repentance for their own historical crimes on everyone else, demanding that the citizens of their countries and other peoples confess to things they have nothing to do with at all, for example, the period of colonial conquests.
It is worth reminding the West that it began its colonial policy back in the Middle Ages, followed by the worldwide slave trade, the genocide of Indian tribes in America, the plunder of India and Africa, the wars of England and France against China, as a result of which it was forced to open its ports to the opium trade. What they did was get entire nations hooked on drugs and purposefully exterminated entire ethnic groups for the sake of grabbing land and resources, hunting people like animals. This is contrary to human nature, truth, freedom and justice.
Of course, nothing of interest was happening in Europe at the time involving genocide, mass deportations, and other injustices. I’d point out that slaves were freed in the west about the same time serfs were notionally freed in Russia after it started about 300 years later.
While we – we are proud that in the 20th century our country led the anti-colonial movement, which opened up opportunities for many peoples around the world to make progress, reduce poverty and inequality, and defeat hunger and disease.
Care to provide some citations for this claim? No? I thought not.
To emphasise, one of the reasons for the centuries-old Russophobia, the Western elites’ unconcealed animosity toward Russia is precisely the fact that we did not allow them to rob us during the period of colonial conquests and forced the Europeans to trade with us on mutually beneficial terms. This was achieved by creating a strong centralised state in Russia, which grew and got stronger based on the great moral values of Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism, as well as Russian culture and the Russian word that were open to all.
There were numerous plans to invade Russia. Such attempts were made during the Time of Troubles in the 17th century and in the period of ordeals after the 1917 revolution. All of them failed. The West managed to grab hold of Russia’s wealth only in the late 20th century, when the state had been destroyed. They called us friends and partners, but they treated us like a colony, using various schemes to pump trillions of dollars out of the country. We remember. We have not forgotten anything.
A few days ago, people in Donetsk and Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye declared their support for restoring our historical unity. Thank you! (Applause.)
Western countries have been saying for centuries that they bring freedom and democracy to other nations. Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead of bringing democracy they suppressed and exploited, and instead of giving freedom they enslaved and oppressed. The unipolar world is inherently anti-democratic and unfree; it is false and hypocritical through and through.
The United States is the only country in the world that has used nuclear weapons twice, destroying the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. And they created a precedent.
The precedent was that we were willing to use nukes to prevent a greater loss of life. And we only used them twice despite having a monopoly on them for about five years when the USSR was very vulnerable.
Recall that during WWII the United States and Britain reduced Dresden, Hamburg, Cologne and many other German cities to rubble, without the least military necessity. It was done ostentatiously and, to repeat, without any military necessity. They had only one goal, as with the nuclear bombing of Japanese cities: to intimidate our country and the rest of the world.
The United States left a deep scar in the memory of the people of Korea and Vietnam with their carpet bombings and use of napalm and chemical weapons.
It actually continues to occupy Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea and other countries, which they cynically refer to as equals and allies. Look now, what kind of alliance is that? The whole world knows that the top officials in these countries are being spied on and that their offices and homes are bugged. It is a disgrace, a disgrace for those who do this and for those who, like slaves, silently and meekly swallow this arrogant behaviour.
This is all interesting, and it will instructive to see how his fan club reacts to the numerous lies and misrepresentations told here to demonize America.
They call the orders and threats they make to their vassals Euro-Atlantic solidarity, and the creation of biological weapons and the use of human test subjects, including in Ukraine, noble medical research.
It is their destructive policies, wars and plunder that have unleashed today’s massive wave of migrants. Millions of people endure hardships and humiliation or die by the thousands trying to reach Europe.
They are exporting grain from Ukraine now. Where are they taking it under the guise of ensuring the food security of the poorest countries? Where is it going? They are taking it to the self-same European countries. Only five percent has been delivered to the poorest countries. More cheating and naked deception again.
In effect, the American elite is using the tragedy of these people to weaken its rivals, to destroy nation states. This goes for Europe and for the identities of France, Italy, Spain and other countries with centuries-long histories.
You can’t disagree with the charge that some Western elites are out to destroy national identity. The US is one of those targets. It is touching to see Putin concerned about where Ukrainian grain is going, as he blockaded Ukrainian ports to prevent any shipments in the first place. That he lies about its destination is to be expected.
Washington demands more and more sanctions against Russia and the majority of European politicians obediently go along with it. They clearly understand that by pressuring the EU to completely give up Russian energy and other resources, the United States is practically pushing Europe toward deindustrialisation in a bid to get its hands on the entire European market. These European elites understand everything – they do, but they prefer to serve the interests of others. This is no longer servility but direct betrayal of their own peoples. God bless, it is up to them.
But the Anglo-Saxons believe sanctions are no longer enough and now they have turned to subversion. It seems incredible but it is a fact – by causing explosions on Nord Stream’s international gas pipelines passing along the bottom of the Baltic Sea, they have actually embarked on the destruction of Europe’s entire energy infrastructure. It is clear to everyone who stands to gain. Those who benefit are responsible, of course.
The dictates of the US are backed up by crude force, on the law of the fist. Sometimes it is beautifully wrapped sometimes there is no wrapping at all but the gist is the same – the law of the fist. Hence, the deployment and maintenance of hundreds of military bases in all corners of the world, NATO expansion, and attempts to cobble together new military alliances, such as AUKUS and the like. Much is being done to create a Washington-Seoul-Tokyo military-political chain. All states that possess or aspire to genuine strategic sovereignty and are capable of challenging Western hegemony, are automatically declared enemies.
What is interesting is that when the US seeks allies, it finds them quickly and among the first rank of nations. Russia, on the other hand, has to rely on dumpster-fire nations. Right now, two members of Russia’s cheap, laughable knock-off of NATO, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, are at war with each other. Another ally, Armenia, is getting mauled in a quasi-war with Azerbaijan, and the Kremlin could care less. That’s because the world knows Russia is duplicitous and can’t be trusted, and real nations won’t ally themselves with Russia.
These are the principles that underlie US and NATO military doctrines that require total domination. Western elites are presenting their neocolonialist plans with the same hypocrisy, claiming peaceful intentions, talking about some kind of deterrence. This evasive word migrates from one strategy to another but really only means one thing – undermining any and all sovereign centres of power.
We have already heard about the deterrence of Russia, China and Iran. I believe next in line are other countries of Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, as well as current US partners and allies. After all, we know that when they are displeased, they introduce sanctions against their allies as well – against this or that bank or company. This is their practice and they will expand it. They have everything in their sights, including our next-door neighbours – the CIS countries.
At the same time, the West has clearly been engaged in wishful thinking for a long time. In launching the sanctions blitzkrieg against Russia, for example, they thought that they could once again line up the whole world at their command. As it turns out, however, such a bright prospect does not excite everyone – other than complete political masochists and admirers of other unconventional forms of international relations. Most states refuse to ”snap a salute“ and instead choose the sensible path of cooperation with Russia.
The West clearly did not expect such insubordination. They simply got used to acting according to a template, to grab whatever they please, by blackmail, bribery, intimidation, and convinced themselves that these methods would work forever, as if they had fossilised in the past.
Such self-confidence is a direct product not only of the notorious concept of exceptionalism – although it never ceases to amaze – but also of the real ”information hunger“ in the West. The truth has been drowned in an ocean of myths, illusions and fakes, using extremely aggressive propaganda, lying like Goebbels. The more unbelievable the lie, the quicker people will believe it – that is how they operate, according to this principle.
But people cannot be fed with printed dollars and euros. You can’t feed them with those pieces of paper, and the virtual, inflated capitalisation of western social media companies can’t heat their homes. Everything I am saying is important. And what I just said is no less so: you can’t feed anyone with paper – you need food; and you can’t heat anyone’s home with these inflated capitalisations – you need energy.
And yet I put gas in my car and bought a hamburger with dollars.
That is why politicians in Europe have to convince their fellow citizens to eat less, take a shower less often and dress warmer at home. And those who start asking fair questions like “Why is that, in fact?” are immediately declared enemies, extremists and radicals. They point back at Russia and say: that is the source of all your troubles. More lies.
I want to make special note of the fact that there is every reason to believe that the Western elites are not going to look for constructive ways out of the global food and energy crisis that they and they alone are to blame for, as a result of their long-term policy, dating back long before our special military operation in Ukraine, in Donbass. They have no intention of solving the problems of injustice and inequality. I am afraid they would rather use other formulas they are more comfortable with.
And here it is important to recall that the West bailed itself out of its early 20th century challenges with World War I. Profits from World War II helped the United States finally overcome the Great Depression and become the largest economy in the world, and to impose on the planet the power of the dollar as a global reserve currency. And the 1980s crisis – things came to a head in the 1980s again – the West emerged from it unscathed largely by appropriating the inheritance and resources of the collapsed and defunct Soviet Union. That’s a fact.
Now, in order to free itself from the latest web of challenges, they need to dismantle Russia as well as other states that choose a sovereign path of development, at all costs, to be able to further plunder other nations’ wealth and use it to patch their own holes. If this does not happen, I cannot rule out that they will try to trigger a collapse of the entire system, and blame everything on that, or, God forbid, decide to use the old formula of economic growth through war.
Russia is aware of its responsibility to the international community and will make every effort to ensure that cooler heads prevail.
Keep in mind, earlier in this speech, he damned a rules-based international order to hell. Here he claims he is “aware” of Russia’s responsibilities but makes no promise to uphold those responsibilities.
The current neocolonial model is ultimately doomed; this much is obvious. But I repeat that its real masters will cling to it to the end. They simply have nothing to offer the world except to maintain the same system of plundering and racketeering.
They do not give a damn about the natural right of billions of people, the majority of humanity, to freedom and justice, the right to determine their own future. They have already moved on to the radical denial of moral, religious, and family values.
Let’s answer some very simple questions for ourselves. Now I would like to return to what I said and want to address also all citizens of the country – not just the colleagues that are in the hall – but all citizens of Russia: do we want to have here, in our country, in Russia, “parent number one, parent number two and parent number three” (they have completely lost it!) instead of mother and father? Do we want our schools to impose on our children, from their earliest days in school, perversions that lead to degradation and extinction? Do we want to drum into their heads the ideas that certain other genders exist along with women and men and to offer them gender reassignment surgery? Is that what we want for our country and our children? This is all unacceptable to us. We have a different future of our own.
Okay, he does have a point here, but we all know that if it brought Putin just as little more power, he’d set up mandatory sex-change surgery stations on the Moscow subway.
Let me repeat that the dictatorship of the Western elites targets all societies, including the citizens of Western countries themselves. This is a challenge to all. This complete renunciation of what it means to be human, the overthrow of faith and traditional values, and the suppression of freedom are coming to resemble a “religion in reverse” – pure Satanism. Exposing false messiahs, Jesus Christ said in the Sermon on the Mount: “By their fruits ye shall know them.” These poisonous fruits are already obvious to people, and not only in our country but also in all countries, including many people in the West itself.
The world has entered a period of a fundamental, revolutionary transformation. New centres of power are emerging. They represent the majority – the majority! – of the international community. They are ready not only to declare their interests but also to protect them. They see in multipolarity an opportunity to strengthen their sovereignty, which means gaining genuine freedom, historical prospects, and the right to their own independent, creative and distinctive forms of development, to a harmonious process.
As I have already said, we have many like-minded people in Europe and the United States, and we feel and see their support. An essentially emancipatory, anti-colonial movement against unipolar hegemony is taking shape in the most diverse countries and societies. Its power will only grow with time. It is this force that will determine our future geopolitical reality.
Today, we are fighting for a just and free path, first of all for ourselves, for Russia, in order to leave dictate and despotism in the past. I am convinced that countries and peoples understand that a policy based on the exceptionalism of whoever it may be and the suppression of other cultures and peoples is inherently criminal, and that we must close this shameful chapter. The ongoing collapse of Western hegemony is irreversible. And I repeat: things will never be the same.
The battlefield to which destiny and history have called us is a battlefield for our people, for the great historical Russia. (Applause.) For the great historical Russia, for future generations, our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We must protect them against enslavement and monstrous experiments that are designed to cripple their minds and souls.
Today, we are fighting so that it would never occur to anyone that Russia, our people, our language, or our culture can be erased from history. Today, we need a consolidated society, and this consolidation can only be based on sovereignty, freedom, creation, and justice. Our values are humanity, mercy and compassion.
And I want to close with the words of a true patriot Ivan Ilyin: “If I consider Russia my Motherland, that means that I love as a Russian, contemplate and think, sing and speak as a Russian; that I believe in the spiritual strength of the Russian people. Its spirit is my spirit; its destiny is my destiny; its suffering is my grief; and its prosperity is my joy.” [Editor’s note: a primer on Ivan Ilyin.]
Behind these words stands a glorious spiritual choice, which, for more than a thousand years of Russian statehood, was followed by many generations of our ancestors. Today, we are making this choice; the citizens of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics and the residents of the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions have made this choice. They made the choice to be with their people, to be with their Motherland, to share in its destiny, and to be victorious together with it.
The truth is with us, and behind us is Russia!
In my view, this speech was written for an internal Russian audience. The themes are a smorgasbord of Russian grievances against successful nations, Russian mythology, and Russian cultural superiority.
Putin claims the annexed territories are Russian forever. That theory will be put to the test in the next weeks. I suspect the outcome will be a “frozen conflict” and not a Russian nuclear attack…but I didn’t think Russia would make a boneheaded decision like invading Ukraine. His appeal to the authority of the UN Charter to justify the attempted dismemberment of a neighboring state would be laughed out of any international forum. A domestic audience could see it as just another example of how the world doesn’t treat Russia fair even when it plays by the rules.
Negotiations with Ukraine
Putin’s position is that he’s taken what he wants, and it is up to Ukraine to negotiate an end to the war. It isn’t a very reasonable position in the best of times and untenable in light of the news from the battlefield last month and tonight. As I said in an earlier post on this subject, absent a change of government in one party or the other, this will enter the annals of “frozen conflicts.”
The West is at war with Russia
If there is one theme that could play outside of Russia, this is it. Even so, Putin missed the chance to make a common cause with traditional cultures everywhere pressured by i.nternational interests to accept open borders, poverty, and cultural annihilation. He also doesn’t like “teh gheys” or transgenders or that entire subculture. By falling back on Russian chauvinism and grievance, he missed a chance to appeal to many of us who believe a concerted effort is underway to destroy the family and the basis for a moral life. But reaching out beyond Russia was not what this speech was about.
The United States is evil
This latter part could have been written by any leftist, from Howard Zinn to Barack Obama. While his rhetoric was unmoored from reality, we should take note of it and never again make any agreement with Putin’s Russia.
Rules are for suckers.
Putin says Russia will not be bound by rules. If there is one datapoint in this speech that is true, that’s it. Putin’s Russia has made acting lawlessly its brand. Going forward, we must never forget that Putin reacts only to the possibility of embarrassment and getting his ass kicked. If you are relying on diplomacy and international norms to prevent him from acting out, you are fooling yourself.