Vladimir Putin warns Westerners of “real threat” of nuclear war

Vladimir Putin warns Westerners of real threat of nuclear war

In his speech to the nation, an annual high mass during which he defines Russia’s priorities, Vladimir Putin warned, Thursday, February 29, Westerners against a ” real threat » of nuclear war in the event of an escalation of the conflict in Ukraine. Comforted by Russian successes in Ukraine, the Russian head of state also congratulated himself on the progress of his troops on the front, two weeks before a presidential election which he should win without surprise.

4 mins

In a calm tone, under the very regular applause of the public, Vladimir Poutine returned Thursday February 29 on the controversial remarks from his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, who this week raised the possibility of sending Western troops to Ukraine. “ They talked about the possibility of sending Western military contingents to Ukraine […] But the consequences of these interventions would really be more tragic “, he declared, from Gostiny Dvor, a congress center located near Red Square in Moscow. “ They must understand that we too have weapons capable of hitting targets on their territory. Everything they are inventing at the moment, in addition to frightening the whole world, is a real threat of conflict with the use of nuclear weapons and therefore the destruction of civilization. », continued the Russian president. “ So they don’t understand this? “, he wondered aloud.

Military capabilities multiplied »

The Russian president appears in better shape than a year ago, when his army was subject to humiliating retreats in the south and northeast of Ukraine, after an abortive attempt to seize Kiev in the spring 2022. Since then, the Ukrainian army has failed in its counter-offensive launched in the summer of 2023 and finds itself on the defensive, lacking ammunition due to lack of agreement in Washington and due to the slowness of European deliveries, facing more numerous and better armed Russian soldiers. In mid-February, the latter succeeded in seizing the fortress town of Avdiïvka, on the Eastern front, and continued their push in this sector, arousing the satisfaction of Vladimir Putin.

The Russian president also vowed that his soldiers engaged on the front in Ukraine will achieve victory and will not back down. “ Members of the armed forces will not back down, will not fail, will not betray », promised the Russian president in the conclusion of his annual address to the nation.

He was also delighted to “ flexibility and resistance » of the Russian economy which, despite a barrage of Western sanctions, is resisting for the moment and has turned towards Asia and the war effort. “ The military capabilities of the armed forces have been multiplied. They move forward with confidence in several directions » from the front, Vladimir Putin rejoiced on Thursday, while estimating that “ the absolute majority of the Russian people » supported the military campaign in Ukraine. “ We preserved the unity of the country, we did not allow it to be torn into pieces », Launched the head of the Kremlin.

He also attacked the current American authorities, accusing them of “ wanting to show that they run the world like before » and to make “ demagogy » before the American presidential election next November. According to him, Russia is “ ready for a dialogue » with the United States on the issues of “ strategic stability “.

Navalny’s funeral

In his speeches to the nation, Vladimir Putin traditionally takes stock of the past year and sets new strategic directions, in front of his country’s political and military elite. On Thursday, he again praised the “ traditional values » officially defended by the Kremlin, ensuring that Russia was one of the “ bastions “. “ A family with many children must become the norm », he said, while Russia has been facing serious demographic problems for many years, reinforced by the assault in Ukraine and the departure abroad of hundreds of thousands of citizens.

He also assured that the fight against poverty in Russia was one of his priorities, and welcomed a drop in “ alcohol consumption » and promised more funding to renovate the country’s schools. Russian media point out that his speech on Thursday is being broadcast not only on television but also free of charge in cinemas in 20 cities in Russia, a country whose population is subject, according to Kremlin critics, to increasing political regimentation.

Thursday’s speech comes on the eve of the planned funeral in Moscow of his main opponent, the anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, died on February 16 in prison in unclear conditions. Vladimir Putin, who never mentioned the name of Alexeï Navalny in public, has still not commented on this death which shocked Western powers.

(With AFP)

Read alsoRussia: Navalny buried in Moscow on March 1, his widow portrays Putin as a “bloodthirsty mafia boss”