Ukraine War Poses Existential Threat To Survival Of The Russian People: Putin
Last week when President Vladimir Putin said his country is suspending participation in the New START nuclear arms control treaty with the US, he explained it was to "ensure security, strategic stability" for Russia.
In Sunday remarks given to state TV channel Russia 1, he explained more about what he sees as the West's goal in its deeper involvement in opposing Russian forces in Ukraine while seeking to punish Moscow with continually ratcheting sanctions and attempted isolation on the world stage. He warned in the new comments that the Russian people may not survive in NATO countries succeed in imposing a "strategic defeat" on Russia.
He presented the proxy war in Ukraine and Western arms being pumped in, which has recently included authorization for US and German tanks, as an existential threat to his country and people.
"In today’s conditions, when all the leading NATO countries have declared their main goal as inflicting a strategic defeat on us, so that our people suffer as they say, how can we ignore their nuclear capabilities in these conditions?" Putin said, according to Reuters.
"I do not even know if such an ethnic group as the Russian people will be able to survive in the form in which it exists today," he said, while also suggesting the West is eyeing Russia's abundant resources, and seeks to obtain and divide them.
It's not the first time he's cast the Ukraine war in terms of a global conflict and confrontation, but such heightened rhetoric which shows he doesn't see losing as an option has grown and come more frequent of late. Last week he had said the following, echoing a similar theme:
"Western elites aren’t trying to conceal their goals, to inflict a ‘strategic defeat’ to Russia," he said last Tuesday. "They intend to transform the local conflict into a global confrontation."
Putin spoke those words headed into Friday's one-year mark since he ordered the invasion of Ukraine while charging it was the West that "started the war".
"We aren't fighting the Ukrainian people," Putin had asserted in a speech, saying Ukrainians have "become hostage of the Kyiv regime and its Western masters, which have effectively occupied the country."