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Putin’s threat: “We have nuclear weapons capable of hitting targets in the West”

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Putin’s threat: “We have nuclear weapons capable of hitting targets in the West”

MOSCOW – Vladimir Putin once again raises the “real threat” of a nuclear conflict. He does so during the annual state of the nation speech which defines the country’s priorities and which, this year, falls two weeks before the presidential elections which will reconfirm him for a fifth term. A speech lasting a record two hours, punctuated by applause over eighty times.

Ukraine

Comforted by the recent successes in Ukraine, the Russian president welcomes the advancement of troops on the front: “The military capabilities of the armed forces have multiplied. They are confidently moving forward in different directions.” He claims that “the absolute majority of the Russian people” supports the Special Military Operation and honors the fallen with a moment of silence.

Nuclear weapons

Putin then goes on to comment on the proposal made on Monday by French President Emmanuel Macron to send NATO troops to Ukraine, although it has already been rejected by the United States, Germany and Great Britain. “We remember the fate of those who sent their contingents of troops into the territory of our country,” he says in an apparent allusion to the failed invasions of Napoleon and Hitler. “Now the consequences for potential invaders would be much more tragic,” he declares at Gostinyj Dvor, a congress palace located near Red Square in Moscow.

“They need to understand that we also have weapons capable of hitting targets on their territory. Everything they are inventing right now, in addition to scaring the entire world, is a real threat of conflict with the use of nuclear weapons and therefore of destruction of civilizations. Don’t they understand?!”, he asked parliamentarians and members of the country’s political, military, economic and religious elite, before reviewing the new nuclear forces, such as the Sarmat and Burevestnik missiles and the Poseidon underwater drone. They are all “fully ready”, he says, and some have already been deployed to Ukraine.

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The United States

Putin rejects as “delusional” the threats aired by Western leaders of a Russian attack on NATO allies in Europe and brands as “fake news” Washington’s declaration that Moscow would like to deploy nuclear weapons in space.

“In view of the American elections, they just want to show their citizens, as well as others, that they continue to rule the world,” he says, referring to the United States and accusing it of wanting to destroy Russia. “It will not work”. He argues, however, that Russia is anyway “ready for dialogue” with the United States on issues of “strategic stability”.

The demographic decline

It presents itself as one of the “bastions” of “traditional values” against the corrupt West. “A family with many children must become the norm”he says, worried about Russia’s population decline exacerbated by losses in Ukraine and the emigration of hundreds of thousands of citizens.

The economy

After the digression on international scenarios, the president praises the “resilience” of the Russian economy, despite the barrage of sanctions, and announces a series of social incentives, in particular for veterans and their families, as well as investments in infrastructurein education, digital and new technologies, culture and environmental protection.

In his speech focusing heavily on economic and social issues ahead of the March 15-17 presidential vote, Putin claims that Russia is “defending its sovereignty and security and protecting our compatriots” in Ukraine, accusing Russian forces of having the upper hand in this context. The fight.

The promise and the hymn

Putin ends as he began. Talking about the conflict in Ukraine. He promises that Russian soldiers “will not retreat, will not fail, will not betray”. Words that are greeted with long applause and the Russian anthem.

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