MOSCOW, September 21. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said the West wants to destroy Russia.
"The West is seeking to weaken, divide and finally destroy this country," the Russian leader said in a televised address on Wednesday.
The West "has been overtly stating that it managed to break up the Soviet Union back in 1991 and that now it’s high time Russia was divided into regions that would conduct hostilities against one another," Putin said.
He said Western countries have long been plotting to do so. "They have been encouraging gangs of international terrorists in the Caucasus and deploying offensive infrastructure near our borders. The West <…> turned Ukrainians into cannon fodder and pushed them to war against this country back in 2014, while using the armed forces against civilians and organizing a genocide, blockade and terror against those who refused to recognize the regime that came to power after a coup d’etat in Ukraine," Putin elaborated.
The president said he wanted to focus on "the urgent measures that need to be taken to protect Russia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and to support compatriots in their desire to determine their fate" in his address. According to Putin, some Western elites have been aggressive in their ambitions to maintain their dominance at all costs. "The theme of my address is the situation in Donbass and the course of the special military operation aimed at liberating it from the neo-Nazi regime that seized power in Ukraine following an armed coup there in 2014," the head of state emphasized.
He said he was addressing "everybody in the country, people of all generations, ages and nationalities, <...> soldiers and officers, volunteers currently on a combat duty, as well as <…> residents of the Donetsk and the Lugansk People’s Republics, the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions and other areas that have been liberated from neo-Nazi rule.".