Espreso. Global

Putin's messages of war: Vitaliy Portnikov's column

29 February, 2024 Thursday

Vladimir Putin's address to the Federal Assembly is primarily a declarative statement that, at first glance, should not demonstrate any real vectors in Putin's policy

However, this is not the case now. Both because this message comes two years after the beginning of Russia's attack on Ukraine with the aim of destroying our country, and because it takes place in the run-up to the so-called presidential elections in the Russian Federation. Therefore, it can be considered a roadmap and Putin's vision of how Russia should develop and what should happen next regarding the Russian-Ukrainian war. The most important thing to say about this message is that it is a message of war.

One can see with the naked eye that the Russian leader is literally enjoying the war. The very fact that he began his message with war, with a minute of silence for those Russian murderers who died on foreign soil, speaks volumes about Putin's future intentions and how he would like to see Russian society.

Putin is convinced that the war must continue and that he must occupy new Ukrainian lands. He says so directly in his message to his associates. Of course, this is also a message of confrontation with the West. Putin actually threatens the West with nuclear weapons and says that Russian nuclear forces are in a state of immediate strike. This is a rather serious statement coming from the Russian leader, because we usually hear nuclear threats from Putin's associates, primarily from the former Russian president, deputy head of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev. But here, Putin himself is making nuclear threats.

By the way, we can say that the words of French President Emmanuel Macron, who did not rule out the possibility that Western troops could be sent to Ukraine in the future, have achieved this goal. These statements by the French leader alarmed Putin so much that he threatened Western countries with strikes on their own territory if their troops actually appeared on the territory of Ukraine.

Which is interesting, I think, for everyone: Putin spoke about troops "on our land". That is, he does not consider Ukraine to be a separate territory from the Russian Federation. He still thinks that Ukraine is the territory of Russia, and any Western country that would allow itself to send troops to this territory, that is, to the territory of a sovereign state, would be encroaching on Russian lands. And that's all you need to know about Vladimir Putin's intentions regarding his further actions in the war with Ukraine.

At the same time, let's not ignore the fact that Vladimir Putin is clearly looking for negotiations, but not with Ukraine, but with the United States. This message is yet another indication that Vladimir Putin does not consider Ukraine a state, but he would like to have a dialogue with the United States about Russia's role in the world. Of course, Putin sees this role as an equal partner of the United States.

At the same time, the Russian leader is obviously offended that the United States does not view Russia in this way, so he continues to threaten the United States and accuse it of inventing Russian intentions, such as the deployment of nuclear weapons in space, which has been recently discussed by leading American politicians, emphasizing that such actions by Russia could jeopardize all international security, and that the Russian Federation could thus destroy satellites in orbit and threaten communications and stability around the world.

Putin, as is his usual practice, denies these statements, but such denials are worthless in light of the fact that the Russian president confirms the use of ultra-modern weapons in the war in Ukraine, the very existence of which was recently denied in Russia, as well as the possibility of its direct use in combat operations, and even more so in strikes on peaceful cities.

Putin speaks of the use of the Zircon missile as a huge achievement. But you and I know that they tried to strike Kyiv, a peaceful city, with this Zircon missile. This is also, by and large, a recognition by Vladimir Putin that he is ready to use missiles with sophisticated weapons against peaceful neighborhoods in Ukraine. This means that he can do the same in a situation involving Western countries.

When we talk about the goals of Vladimir Putin's social policy, about family values, which the Russian dictator is zealously promoting, we cannot see how much effort Putin intends to use and for what purpose. The whole idea of family values of the Russian president is the idea of reproduction, i.e., the renewal of the population.

To be very specific, Vladimir Putin needs new soldiers for the wars that the Russian Federation is going to fight now and in the future. And he is sincerely concerned that he will not have enough cannon fodder to carry out all his ambitious plans, including the destruction of the statehood of the former Soviet republics, his attempts to create a sphere of influence in Central Europe, and a world in which Putin's mafia has equal voting rights with civilized nations, especially the United States, and can compete with China.

And there are simply not enough people to fulfill these ambitious goals, so Putin needs his so-called social, but in fact reproductive programs to work. Everything else remains out of the Russian president's attention for the simple reason that Putin spends and is going to spend tens, if not hundreds of times less on education, students, and all the priorities that are important to the countries of the civilized world than on the military needs of his gang.

Trillions of rubles are spent on the military budget of the Russian Federation. No education, no healthcare can boast even billions. And that's all you need to know about the further development of the Russian Federation, which Vladimir Putin wants to turn into an army state in which women will simply give birth to cannon fodder for Putin and his heirs' next adventures.

This is the essence of this message to the Federal Assembly, which, moreover, did not have a pronounced chauvinistic content. In the very first minutes of his address, Vladimir Putin spoke about the anniversary of the "Russian Spring," which is how he renamed the propaganda meme about the "Crimean Spring." This is also a very important moment for understanding Vladimir Putin's vision of how the situation should develop in the future.


About the author. Vitaliy Portnikov, journalist, winner of the Shevchenko National Prize of Ukraine.

The editors do not always share the opinions expressed by the authors of blogs and columns.

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