Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed out that there have been recent statements in the West that they should defeat Russia on the battlefield in Donbass and said, “Let them try.”
Meeting with the leaders of the factions in the Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, Putin said, “Today we hear that they want to defeat us on the battlefield. Well, what can I say, let them try. We have heard a lot that the West wants to fight us to the last Ukrainian. This is a tragedy for the Ukrainian people. But it seems that everything is moving in this direction.”
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Saying that the “illegitimate” sanctions against Russia were causing difficulties, Putin said, “This is true. But these sanctions have not yielded the results expected by those who launched an economic blitzkrieg against Russia. Their goal is not only to hit the Russian economy as hard as possible. Their aim was to sow seeds of discord and turmoil in our society, to demoralize people. But they were wrong. They have not succeeded and I am sure they will not succeed.”
Noting that the US-led West has been acting aggressively against Russia for decades, the Russian leader continued his words as follows:
“Our proposals to create an equal security system in Europe were rejected, attempts to work together on missile defense were rejected. Our warnings about the unacceptability of NATO’s expansion, especially through the former Soviet republics, were ignored. They tell us that we started the war in Donbass, in Ukraine. No, it was the collective West that started this war, the collective West that supported the unconstitutional armed coup in Ukraine in 2014 and then encouraged the genocide against the people of Donbass. The collective West is the culprit, the direct instigator of what is happening today.”
‘We have not started anything more serious in Ukraine’
“But those who refuse talks should know that the more time passes, the more difficult it will be to reach an agreement,” Putin said, adding that despite everything, they did not refuse talks to resolve the Ukrainian crisis.
“Everyone should know that we have not started anything serious in Ukraine yet,” Putin added.