The important February speech by Russian President, Vladimir Putin, finished only minutes ago as I write this. I followed the speech minute by minute, as live-reported by RIA Novosti – Vladimir Putin’s message to the Federal Assembly. Online reportage, and translated by my Yandex browser.
I am not going to provide a detailed report of the event. You can see what was said, and I assume RIA would have reported it truthfully and without embellishment, and that the translation is reasonably accurate. I simply want to give the main points as may be of interest to ‘outsiders’ like myself.
The President initially spoke of the people of Donbass, believing and waiting for Russian assistance, and of the deceit and lack of all honour of the western nations. The quote I used as a title for this piece was not the only positive statement used by the President, but a significant one.
The majority of the President’s words, it has to be said, and probably rightly so (who am I to judge), were intended mainly for the Russian people – including for those of the four new regions – and pertained to the continued building of a bright future for all Russian peoples.
It was only in the final minutes of the speech that Mr Putin made further reference to military aspects of the current conflict. Here is a point-by-point account – quoting directly from the translation. I think it needs little elucidation…
Russia has suspended its participation in the Strategic and Offensive Arms Treaty. It doesn’t exit, but pauses it.
It is important to understand what France and Great Britain are claiming, and it is important to determine the total strike potential of the alliance, Putin stressed.
The Defense Ministry and Rosatom must ensure readiness for nuclear weapons tests.
Moscow will not be the first to do this, but “no one should have any illusions that global parity can be destroyed.”
Putin recalled that now residents of all Russian regions are fighting shoulder to shoulder on the front line, but they are all fighting for their homeland. The audience rises from their seats, applause sounds.
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