At noon on the 21st local time, Russian President Vladimir Putin began to deliver a State of the Union address to the Federal Parliament at the Moscow Trade Inn Exhibition Center.
This is Putin’s first State of the Union address since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war. In the first 20 minutes of his speech, Putin said little about Russia’s domestic content, most of which were attacks on the West.
In his speech, Putin described Ukraine as Russia’s “historical land” and said that Russia’s actions were “to prevent war by force” and “to restore historical justice.”
Putin said the West “opened the way” for the Nazis to seize power in the 1930s, adding that since the 19th century, the West has been trying to deprive Russia of “historical land” – “now Ukraine.”
“Everything is repeating itself,” Putin said, noting that the West financed the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, which toppled a pro-Russian government in Ukraine and “caused Russophobia and extreme nationalism” in Ukraine.
In his speech, Putin also stated that the West should be responsible for the war and Russia is using force to prevent the war.
Putin said: “I want to reiterate: they (the West) should be responsible for the war, and we are using force to prevent the war.” These words received warm applause from the scene.
Putin said accusations against Russia at last week’s Munich Security Conference (Feb. 17-19) were the West’s way of diverting attention. He emphasized that the blame for the war should be placed on the West, which “put the genie out of the bottle” and plunged the entire world into chaos.
“Human sacrifice and tragedy are not on their radar… They must continue to steal from everyone and disguise themselves with slogans of democracy and freedom,” Putin said.
Putin claimed that the West aimed to “direct aggression to the East and eliminate competition” and develop a local conflict into a global one. Putin then referred to Ukraine’s separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, whom he called “brothers and sisters,” adding that “we are now together again, which means we are stronger.”
He added that he could not wait for “the long-awaited return of peace to our homeland.” Putin thanked residents of four regions that voted to join Russia in last September’s “referendum.” “There is nothing more courageous than your decision to stand with Russia, with your homeland,” he said.
“For the future of our ancestors and our descendants … for the restoration of historical justice … our heroes are fighting for this,” Putin said, asking the audience to stand and pay tribute to those Russian soldiers who died.