SELIGER RUSSIA – INTERNATIONAL – Russian President Vladimir Putin is comparing the Ukrainian military’s operations in the country’s east to the Nazi siege of Leningrad during World War II. Speaking at a Youth Camp in Seliger, in Russia’s Tver Region the Russian President took questions from the audience.
“Small towns and big cities are besieged by the Ukrainian army which is directly shelling living quarters with the aim to destroy infrastructure, suppress the spirit of those who fight against them,” Putin told thousands of supporters at a youth camp.
The Russian President said, “Sad as it is to say, but this reminds me of the events of World War II, when the Nazi troops surrounded our towns, in particular Leningrad – you are from St Petersburg, yes? – and fired directly on the towns and their people. On Nevsky Prospekt, as you know, you can still see the sign “Citizens! Take care: this side of the street is most dangerous in artillery attacks.” This is the point things have come to. This is terrible! This is a catastrophe! I can therefore understand the militia in southeast Ukraine, in Donbass and Lugansk, for attempting to defend themselves”.
“Why do they call their operation a military-humanitarian operation? What are they trying to do today? They are trying to push back artillery and multiple launch rocket systems from the big towns so that they won’t be able to kill people. But what do we hear in response from our Western partners? We are told that they do not have the right to do this. They are supposed to let themselves suffer, let themselves be killed, and then they will be considered good guys? We need to sit down at the negotiating table,” continued the Russian President.
Ukrainian government troops have been battling a pro-Russian insurgency in the east for months, after separatists seized towns and declared “people’s republics”.
Russia has denied that their military is engaged in operations on Ukraine territory.
Putin states, “Our Western partners, with the support of fairly radically inclined and nationalist-leaning groups, carried out a coup d’état there. No matter what anyone says, we all understand what happened. There are no fools among us. We all saw the symbolic pies handed out on the Maidan. This information and political support, what does it mean?
This was a case of the United States and European countries getting fully involved in a change of power, an anti-constitutional change of power carried out by force, and the part of the country that does not accept this change is being suppressed with brute military force and the use of planes, artillery, multiple launch rocket systems and tanks. If this is what today’s European values are about, then I am more than disappointed.
Putin Says Blame is on Ukraine
What happened next? We had numerous discussions with the Ukrainian leadership, the US leadership and the European countries about the need for an immediate end to this fratricidal war and the start of negotiations. What did the Ukrainian government propose three or four weeks ago after all? Unilaterally it all sounded so fine: “We have ended military operations.” But then the very next thing they say is that the ceasefire will last for seven days and whoever does not lay down their arms will be destroyed. Is this the road to negotiations? This is an ultimatum”.
“Of course the people who had taken up arms could not agree to these conditions. After all, they took up arms so as to defend themselves and their lives and dignity. The military operations then resumed once more and what do we have today? The Ukrainian army has surrounded small towns and big cities and are firing directly at residential areas in order to destroy infrastructure and crush the will to resist and so on”.
“Why do they call their operation a military-humanitarian operation? What are they trying to do today? They are trying to push back artillery and multiple launch rocket systems from the big towns so that they won’t be able to kill people. But what do we hear in response from our Western partners? We are told that they do not have the right to do this. They are supposed to let themselves suffer, let themselves be killed, and then they will be considered good guys? We need to sit down at the negotiating table.”