Accepting the accession of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions, President Vladimir Putin made a frontal attack on the West and the threat it poses to the rest of the world, mentioning the Opium Wars (against China) and India’s attempt to shake off British rule in 1857, and embraced Iran in a growing assertion against the domination of the United States and the United Kingdom. Directly accusing the Anglo-Saxons (US-UK) of sabotaging the Nordstream pipelines, Putin taunted the United States of “in fact occupying Germany, Japan and South Korea”, an allusion to its military occupation and domination of these countries after World War II.
Stressing the millennium-old historical ties with Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson, Putin invoked Article 1 of the UN Charter (principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples) to assert the legality of the referendums leading to the incorporation of these areas in the Russian Federation. Speaking in the Grand Kremlin Palace’s St George Hall on September 30, 2022, Putin made it clear that these regions are henceforth non-negotiable. Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky immediately ruled out talks with Moscow.
The Russian President extolled the sacrifices of citizens who refused to accept the neo-Nazi coup in Ukraine in 2014, and died for the right to speak their native language (Russian), and preserve their culture, traditions and faith. He promised that Moscow would rebuild the destroyed cities and infrastructure, and restore the social security, pension, healthcare and education systems.
Addressing the controversial issue of partial mobilisation for the “special military operation”, Putin said the fighters of Donbass and Novorossiya who went to military recruitment offices after receiving a call-up paper, and those who volunteered, their parents, wives and children, must understand what Russians are fighting for, the enemy Russia faces, and who is pushing the world into new wars and crises to benefit from the tragedy.
The West, he asserted, decided after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 that the whole world must permanently remain under its sway. It was confident that Russia would never rise again and would fragment further. Despite that miserable decade, Russia withstood the blows and took its rightful place in the world. The West, however, continued seeking ways to weaken and break up Russia, unable to digest the existence of a country with huge territory, natural wealth, resources and people with indomitable spirit.
Condemning the West’s commitment to the neo-colonial system that enables it to live off the world, “to plunder it thanks to the domination of the dollar and technology…”, Putin charged that the West’s goal is total de-sovereignisation of nations. Hence its aggression towards independent states, traditional values and authentic cultures; and moves to undermine new global currencies and technological development centres outside their control.
While the ruling elites of some nations are willing vassals of the United States, Putin noted, others are bribed or intimidated; States that resist are destroyed. This unsatiable hunger for dominance “are the real causes of the hybrid war that the collective West is waging against Russia…they want us to be a colony… they want to loot. They do not want to see us a free society, but a mass of soulless slaves.”
Russian thought and philosophy are seen as a “direct threat” to this enslavement project; hence Russian philosophers are targeted for assassination, Putin averred, alluding to the recent attempt to assassinate Aleksandr Dugin, in which his daughter lost her life. Inflated with a sense of its own impunity, the West flouted strategic security agreements; denied agreements reached at the highest political level, including promises not to expand NATO to the east; and unilaterally dismantled missile defence, intermediate-range and shorter-range missile treaties under false pretexts.
Wondering about the talk of “a rules-based order”, Putin mused, “Who has ever seen these rules? Who agreed or approved them?” Russia will not live by such false rules. Having shunned the principle of inviolability of borders, the West is trying to pronounce “who has the right to self-determination and who does not”, and is enraged by the choice made by the people in Crimea, Sevastopol, Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson.
Continuing the lessons of history, Putin said Western colonialism began in the Middle Ages, and was followed by the slave trade, genocide of Indian tribes in America, plunder of India and Africa, wars of England and France against China that compelled it to open its ports to the opium trade. Getting entire nations hooked on drugs, the West “exterminated entire ethnic groups for the sake of grabbing land and resources, hunting people like animals.” In contrast, Russia in the 20th century led the anti-colonial movement that offered many peoples the chance to progress, reduce poverty and inequality, and defeat hunger and disease.
The chronic Russophobia of the Western elites, Putin analysed, is because Russia “did not allow them to rob us during the period of colonial conquests and forced the Europeans to trade with us on mutually beneficial terms”. This was due to “a strong centralised state” based on the values of Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, and Russian culture; Putin thus subtly showcased Russia’s multicultural tradition.
Several plans were made to invade Russia, “during the Time of Troubles in the 17th century and in the period of ordeals after the 1917 revolution.” However, in the late 20th century, the West managed to seize Russia’s wealth. Putin reminisced, “they treated us like a colony, using various schemes to pump trillions of dollars out of the country. We remember. We have not forgotten anything.”
The United States, he emphasised, “is the only country in the world that has used nuclear weapons twice, destroying the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan.” And during WWII, the United States and Britain reduced Dresden, Hamburg, Cologne and many German cities to rubble, without “any military necessity.” The objective, “as with the nuclear bombing of Japanese cities: to intimidate our country and the rest of the world.” America scarred Korea and Vietnam with carpet bombings and use of napalm and chemical weapons.
In fact, Washington continues to occupy Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea and other countries. Their top officials are spied on and offices and homes bugged; they swallow this disgrace “meekly” in the name of Euro-Atlantic solidarity.
In similar Orwellian-speak, America designates as “noble medical research”, the creation of biological weapons and use of human test subjects, including in Ukraine. These destructive policies, wars and plunder have created the current wave of migrants to Europe. Exposing Western double standards, Putin said that grain is being exported from Ukraine, ostensibly to ensure the food security of the poorest countries, but the bulk (95 per cent) is sent to Europe.
Lambasting Washington for demanding more and more sanctions against Russia, Putin charged that by pressuring the European Union to renounce Russian energy and other resources, it is “pushing Europe toward deindustrialisation in a bid to get its hands on the entire European market.” The European elites prefer to betray their own peoples. Now, unhappy over the ineffective sanctions, the Anglo-Saxons “have turned to subversion… causing explosions on Nord Stream’s international gas pipelines passing along the bottom of the Baltic Sea.”
Washington backs its diktat “by crude force,” via hundreds of military bases around the world, NATO expansion, and new military alliances, such as AUKUS. It is trying to create a Washington-Seoul-Tokyo military-political chain. All states that possess or aspire to genuine strategic sovereignty and can challenge Western hegemony, are dubbed as enemies. The moves against Russia, China and Iran are well-known, Putin said, warning that next targets will be countries of Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, as well as current US partners and allies and CIS countries.
Mocking European leaders for asking people to eat less, shower less, and dress warmer at home, the Russian President said people need food to eat and energy to heat their homes. He charged that the West bailed itself out of its early 20th century challenges with World War I, and profits from World War II helped the United States to overcome the Great Depression and become the world’s largest economy and impose the dollar as a global reserve currency. The 1980s crisis was overcome by appropriating the inheritance and resources of the collapsed Soviet Union. This neo-colonial model is now doomed, Putin concluded.
In a frontal attack on the West’s “denial of moral, religious, and family values” and efforts to create a society in which parents are designated as “parent number one, parent number two and parent number three” instead of mother and father, Putin asked if Russians want schools to impose on children, from kindergarten level, “the ideas that certain other genders exist along with women and men and to offer them gender reassignment surgery?” He warned that Western elites are targeting all societies, including their own citizens, in favour of “pure Satanism.”
The tide of history, Putin mused, is creating new centres of power that will bring Western hegemony to an end. Issuing a clarion cry to “the great historical Russia”, Putin said Russians must protect future generations “against enslavement and monstrous experiments that are designed to cripple their minds and souls.” The fight is to ensure that no one can ever again attempt to try to erase the Russian people, language, or culture from history.
Chintan India Foundation blog, 2 2 October 2022