Do not send soldiers to Ukraine, Putin warns West

Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, cautioned Western nations against deploying troops to Ukraine.

According to him, the outcome of such a choice would be “tragic”.

During his yearly address, President Putin claimed that the West is attempting to involve Russia in a competition for weapons.

He mentioned the importance of Russia enhancing its defences on its western border due to Sweden and Finland joining Nato.

President Putin accused the West of provoking the conflict in Ukraine and claimed they are spreading false information about Russia’s intentions.

Seemingly in response to remarks made by French President Emmanuel Macron, President Putin warned of dire consequences for any potential interventionists in Ukraine.

“We also possess weapons capable of striking targets within their territory,” he stated.

This situation poses a serious risk of conflict involving nuclear weapons and the potential collapse of society. Do they not understand that?

Several countries in the Nato alliance, such as the US, Germany, and the UK, have stated that they will not be sending ground troops to Ukraine.

President Putin highlighted Russia’s advanced weaponry, such as hypersonic aircraft and unmanned underwater vehicles, and emphasised the full readiness of Russia’s strategic nuclear forces.

President Putin has now acknowledged the conflict in Ukraine as a “war”, after previously labelling it a “special military operation”.

According to him, the majority of Russians backed his choice to invade Ukraine, and he stated that the Russian population was now unified against what he referred to as Western efforts to undermine the nation.

He criticised allegations from the US that Russia is creating nuclear weapons to target satellites in space.

The speech was delivered a little over two weeks before the upcoming presidential election in Russia, where President Putin is anticipated to secure a fifth term in office.

A Kremlin spokesman mentioned that the address could be viewed as Putin’s election programme.

Truly, a significant portion of the address was dedicated to domestic matters such as updating the tax system, pensions, and initiatives to increase Russia’s declining birth rate.

He discussed the importance of enhancing the nation’s health and revealed a set of initiatives to increase Russia’s life expectancy, currently among the lowest in Europe at 70.

Encouraging individuals to prioritise physical activity and reduce alcohol intake, he humorously suggested: “Quit drinking and hit the slopes!”

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The speech went on for an unprecedented two hours and was graced by the presence of top politicians, the CEOs of major oil and gas companies Rosneft and Gazprom, and leaders from various religious groups.

The event was shown on large screens throughout Moscow, and some theatres in Russian cities offered free screenings.

Unsurprisingly, there was no coverage of the passing of Alexei Navalny, the opposition figure who recently passed away in a Siberian penal colony and was considered a prominent rival to President Putin.

Navalny, set to be laid to rest in Moscow on Friday, passed away under circumstances that are still being investigated on 16 February. Yulia, his widow, has firmly stated that President Putin was to blame.

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