Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the formal annexation of four regions of Ukraine in a speech on Friday.
Putin and leaders of the four regions signed treaties to annex Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhia – a move which has been denounced as “illegal” by Ukraine and Western powers.
During a 37-minute long speech, Putin spoke about the break up of the Soviet Union, Western “colonial policy”, nuclear weapons, and his view of Western morals, transgenderism, satanism and more.
So is Putin a White hat? Black hat? Grey hat? Read the full transcript below and decide for yourself….
Vladimir Putin: Dear citizens of Russia, citizens of the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics, residents of Zaporizhia and Kherson regions, deputies of the State Duma, senators of the Russian Federation,
As you know, referendums were held in the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics, Zaporizhia and Kherson regions. Their results are summed up, the results are known. People have made their choice, a clear choice.
Today we are signing agreements on the admission of the Donetsk People's Republic, Luhansk People's Republic, Zaporizhia region and Kherson region to Russia. I am sure that the Federal Assembly will support the constitutional laws on the adoption and formation of four new regions and four new subjects of the Russian Federation in Russia, because this is the will of millions of people.
And this, of course, is their right, their inalienable right, which is enshrined in the first Article of the UN Charter, which explicitly states the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.
I repeat: this is an inalienable right of people, it is based on historical unity, in the name of which the generations of our ancestors won, those who created and defended Russia from the origins of Ancient Russia for centuries. Here, in Novorossiya, Rumyantsev, Suvorov and Ushakov fought, and Catherine II and Potemkin founded new cities. Our grandfathers and great-grandfathers stood here to their deaths during the Great Patriotic War.
We will always remember the heroes of the "Russian spring", those who did not come to terms with the neo-Nazi coup in Ukraine in 2014, all those who died for the right to speak their native language, preserve their culture, traditions, faith, and the right to live. These are soldiers of Donbass, martyrs of the "Odessa Khatyn", victims of inhumane terrorist attacks organized by the Kiev regime. These are volunteers and militia members, these are civilians, children, women, the elderly, Russians, Ukrainians, people of various nationalities. This is the real people's leader of Donetsk Alexander Zakharchenko, these are military commanders Arsen Pavlov and Vladimir Zhoga, Olga Kochura and Alexey Mozgovoy, this is the prosecutor of the Luhansk Republic Sergey Gorenko. This is paratrooper Nurmagomed Gadzhimagomedov and all our soldiers and officers who died bravely during a special military operation. They are heroes. (Applause.) Heroes of great Russia. Please observe a minute of silence in their memory.
(Minute of silence.)
The choice of millions of people in the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions is our common destiny and millennial history. People passed this spiritual connection on to their children and grandchildren. Despite all the trials, we carried our love for Russia through the years. And no one can destroy this feeling in us. That is why both older generations and young people, those who were born after the tragedy of the collapse of the Soviet Union, voted for our unity, for our common future.
In 1991, in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, without asking the will of ordinary citizens, representatives of the party elites of that time decided on the collapse of the USSR, and people were suddenly cut off from their homeland. It really tore apart our national community and turned into a national catastrophe. Just as the borders of the Union republics were cut up behind the scenes after the revolution, so the last leaders of the Soviet Union, despite the direct will of the majority of people, destroyed our great country in a 1991 referendum and simply confronted the peoples with the fact.
I admit that they didn't even fully understand what they were doing and what consequences it would inevitably lead to in the end. But it doesn't matter. The Soviet Union is gone, the past cannot be returned. And Russia doesn't even need it today, and we don't want to do it. But there is nothing stronger than the determination of millions of people who, by their culture, faith, traditions, and language, consider themselves part of Russia, and whose ancestors have lived in a single state for centuries. There is nothing stronger than the determination of these people to return to their true, historical Homeland.
For eight long years, people in the Donbas were subjected to genocide, shelling and blockade, and in Kherson and Zaporozhye, they tried to criminally cultivate hatred for Russia, for everything Russian. Now, already in the course of referendums, the Kiev regime has threatened schoolteachers and women who worked in election commissions with violence and death, and intimidated millions of people who came to express their will with repression. But the unbroken people of Donbass, Zaporozhye and Kherson have spoken their word.
I want to be heard by the Kiev authorities and their real masters in the West, so that everyone remembers this: people living in Lugansk and Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporozhye, become our citizens forever. (Applause.)
We call on the Kiev regime to immediately cease fire, all fighting, and the war it unleashed back in 2014, and return to the negotiating table. We are ready for this, it has been said more than once. But the choice of the people in Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson will not be discussed, it has been made, and Russia will not betray it. (Applause.) And today's Kiev authorities should treat this free expression of people's will with respect, and in no other way. This is the only way to peace.
We will defend our land with all the forces and means at our disposal and will do everything to ensure a safe life for our people. This is the great liberation mission of our people.
We will definitely rebuild destroyed cities and towns, housing, schools, hospitals, theaters and museums, restore and develop industrial enterprises, factories, infrastructure, social security systems, pensions, healthcare and education.
Of course, we will work on improving the level of security. Together, we will make sure that citizens in the new regions feel the support of the entire people of Russia, the entire country, all the republics, all the territories and regions of our vast Homeland. (Applause.)
Dear friends and colleagues,
Today I want to appeal to the soldiers and officers who participate in a special military operation, to the soldiers of Donbass and Novorossiya, to those who, after the decree on partial mobilization, join the Armed Forces, fulfilling their patriotic duty, who come to the military enlistment offices at the call of their hearts. I would also like to address their parents, wives, and children, and tell them what our people are fighting for, what kind of enemy we are facing, and who is throwing the world into new wars and crises, drawing their bloody profit from this tragedy.
Our compatriots, our brothers and sisters in Ukraine – the native part of our united people – have seen with their own eyes what the ruling circles of the so-called West are preparing for all of humanity. Here, in fact, they simply threw off their masks, showed their true nature.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the West decided that the world, all of us, would have to put up with its dictates forever. Then, in 1991, the West expected that Russia would never recover from such shocks and would continue to fall apart on its own. Yes, it almost happened – we remember the 90s, the terrible 90s, hungry, cold and hopeless. But Russia has survived, revived, strengthened, and regained its rightful place in the world.
At the same time, all this time the West has been looking for and continues to look for a new chance to strike at us, weaken and destroy Russia, as they have always dreamed of, to split our state, to pit peoples against each other, to condemn them to poverty and extinction. They are simply haunted by the fact that there is such a great, huge country in the world with its territory, natural resources, resources, and people who do not know how and will never live according to someone else's instructions.
The West is ready to step over everything to preserve the neocolonial system that allows it to parasitize, in fact, rob the world at the expense of the power of the dollar and technological dictates, collect real tribute from humanity, extract the main source of unearned prosperity, the rent of the hegemon. The preservation of this rent is their key, genuine and absolutely self – serving motive. That is why total desuverenization is in their interests. Hence their aggression against independent states, traditional values and distinctive cultures, attempts to undermine international and integration processes beyond their control, new world currencies and centers of technological development. It is critical for them that all countries surrender their sovereignty in favor of the United States.
The ruling elite of some states voluntarily agree to do this, voluntarily agree to become vassals; others are bribed and intimidated. And if it doesn't work out, they destroy entire states, leaving behind humanitarian disasters, disasters, ruins, millions of ruined human destinies, terrorist enclaves, social disaster zones, protectorates, colonies and semi – colonies. They don't care, as long as they get their own benefits.
I would like to emphasize once again that greed and the intention to preserve their unlimited power are the real reasons for the hybrid war that the "collective West" is waging against Russia. They don't want us to be free, they want us to be a colony. They do not want equal cooperation, but plunder. They want to see us not as a free society, but as a crowd of soulless slaves.
For them, a direct threat is our thought and philosophy, and therefore they attempt to kill our philosophers. Our culture and art pose a danger to them, so they are trying to ban them. Our development and prosperity are also a threat to them – competition is growing. They don't need Russia at all, we need it. (Applause.)
I would like to remind you that the claims to world domination in the past have repeatedly been broken by the courage and resilience of our people. Russia will always be Russia. We will still defend our values and our homeland.
The West is counting on impunity, on getting away with everything. As a matter of fact, I've gotten away with it so far. Strategic security agreements are being tossed into the dustbin; agreements reached at the highest political level are being declared nonsense; firm promises not to expand NATO to the east, as soon as our former leaders bought into them, turned into dirty deceptions; treaties on missile defense and intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles were unilaterally torn up under far-fetched pretexts.
All we hear from all sides is that the West is defending a rule-based order. Where did they come from? Who has ever seen these rules? Who approved it? Listen, this is just some kind of nonsense, a complete deception, double or triple standards! Designed for fools simply.
Russia is a great millennial power, a country-civilization, and will not live by such rigged, false rules. (Applause.)
It is the so-called West that has trampled on the principle of inviolability of borders, and now decides at its own discretion who has the right to self-determination, and who does not, who is not worthy of it. Why they decide this way, and who gave them this right – is unclear. By themselves.
That is why they are very angry about the choice of people in Crimea, Sevastopol, Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson. The West does not have any moral right to evaluate it, even to mention the freedom of democracy. No and never was!
Western elites deny not only national sovereignty and international law. Their hegemony has a pronounced character of totalitarianism, despotism and apartheid. They blatantly divide the world into their vassals, the so-called civilized countries, and all the others who, according to the plan of today's Western racists, should join the list of barbarians and savages. False labels – "rogue state", "authoritarian regime" - are already ready, they stigmatize entire peoples and states, and this is nothing new. There is nothing new in this: Western elites are what they were, and still are – colonialist. They discriminate, divide peoples into the first and other grades.
We have never accepted and will never accept such political nationalism and racism. And what, if not racism, is the Russophobia that is now spreading all over the world? What, if not racism, is the West's peremptory conviction that its civilization, neoliberal culture, is an unquestionable model for the whole world? "He who is not with us is against us." It even sounds strange.
Even the Western elites shift the responsibility of repenting for their own historical crimes to everyone else, demanding that both citizens of their countries and other peoples apologize for what they have nothing to do with at all – for example, during the period of colonial occupation.
It is worth reminding the West that it began its colonial policy in the Middle Ages, and then it was followed by the world slave trade, the genocide of Native American tribes in America, the plundering of India, Africa, the wars of England and France against China, as a result of which it was forced to open its ports to the opium trade. What they did was put entire nations on drugs, purposefully exterminated entire ethnic groups for the sake of land and resources, and organized a real hunt for people like animals. This is contrary to the very nature of man, truth, freedom and justice.
And we-we are proud that in the 20th century it was our country that led the anti-colonial movement, which opened up opportunities for development for many peoples of the world, in order to reduce poverty and inequality, to overcome hunger and disease.
I would like to emphasize that one of the reasons for the centuries-old Russophobia and undisguised anger of these Western elites towards Russia is precisely that we did not allow ourselves to be robbed during the period of colonial conquests, and forced Europeans to conduct trade for mutual benefit. This was achieved by creating a strong centralized state in Russia, which developed and strengthened itself on the great moral values of Orthodoxy, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism, on the open to all Russian culture and the Russian word.
It is known that plans for intervention in Russia were repeatedly made, and they tried to use the Time of Troubles at the beginning of the XVII century, and the period of upheaval after 1917 – they failed. The West still managed to reach the riches of Russia at the end of the XX century, when the state was destroyed. At that time, we were called both friends and partners, but in reality we were treated like a colony – trillions of dollars were siphoned out of the country using a variety of schemes. We all remember everything, we haven't forgotten anything.
And these days, people in Donetsk and Luhansk, in Kherson and Zaporizhia have spoken out in favor of restoring our historical unity. Thanks! (Applause.)
Western countries have been saying for centuries that they bring freedom and democracy to other peoples. It is exactly the opposite: instead of democracy, there is oppression and exploitation; instead of freedom, there is enslavement and violence. The entire unipolar world order is inherently anti-democratic and not free, it is deceitful and hypocritical through and through.
The United States is the only country in the world to use nuclear weapons twice, destroying the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. By the way, we have set a precedent.
Let me also remind you that the United States, together with the British, turned Dresden, Hamburg, Cologne and many other German cities into ruins without any military necessity during World War II. And this was done demonstratively, without any, I repeat, military necessity. There was only one goal: just as in the case of the nuclear bombings in Japan, to intimidate both our country and the whole world.
The United States has left a terrible mark on the memory of the peoples of Korea and Vietnam with its barbaric carpet bombings, the use of napalm and chemical weapons.
Until now, they actually occupy Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea and other countries, and at the same time cynically call them equal allies. Listen, I wonder what kind of alliance this is. The whole world knows that the leaders of these countries are being watched, and the top officials of these countries are being installed listening devices not only in their offices, but also in their residential premises. It's a real shame. It is a shame for those who do this, and for those who, like a slave, silently and meekly swallow this rudeness.
They call orders and rude, insulting shouts addressed to their vassals Euro-Atlantic solidarity, the development of biological weapons, experiments on living people, including in Ukraine, noble medical research.
It is precisely with their destructive policies, wars, and plunder that they have provoked today's colossal surge in migration flows. Millions of people suffer hardships, bullying, and thousands die trying to reach the same Europe.
They are now exporting bread from Ukraine. Where does it go under the pretext of "ensuring food security for the world's poorest countries"? Where is it going? Everything goes to the same European countries. There, only five percent went to the world's poorest countries. Again, another scam and outright deception.
The American elite, in fact, uses the tragedy of these people to weaken their competitors, to destroy national states. This also applies to Europe, as well as to the identity of France, Italy, Spain and other countries with a long history.
Washington is demanding more and more sanctions against Russia, and most European politicians dutifully agree with this. They also clearly understand that the United States, pushing through the EU's complete rejection of Russian energy and other resources, is practically leading to the deindustrialization of Europe, to completely take over the European market – they all understand, these European elites understand everything, but they prefer to serve other people's interests. This is no longer lackeyism, but a direct betrayal of their peoples. But never mind them, that's their business.
But the Anglo-Saxons are no longer satisfied with sanctions, they have moved on to sabotage-incredibly, but a fact-by organizing explosions on the international gas pipelines "Nord Stream", which run along the bottom of the Baltic Sea, they have actually begun to destroy the pan-European energy infrastructure. It is obvious to everyone who benefits from this. Who benefits, he did, of course.
The US dictatorship is based on brute force, on fist law. Sometimes beautifully wrapped, sometimes without any wrapper, but the essence is the same-fist law. Hence the deployment and maintenance of hundreds of military bases in all corners of the world, the expansion of NATO, attempts to put together new military alliances, such as AUKUS and the like. Active work is also underway to create a military-political link between Washington, Seoul and Tokyo. All those States that have or seek to have genuine strategic sovereignty and are capable of challenging Western hegemony are automatically classified as enemies.
It is on these principles that the military doctrines of the United States and NATO are built, which require no less than total dominance. Western elites present their neocolonial plans in the same hypocritical way, even with a claim to peacefulness, they talk about some kind of deterrence, and such a sly word wanders from one strategy to another, and, in fact, means only one thing: undermining any sovereign development centers.
We have already heard about the containment of Russia, China, and Iran. I believe that other countries in Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East, as well as the current partners and allies of the United States, will also be next in line. We know that they impose sanctions against their allies, either against one bank, or against another, or against one company, or against another. This is the same practice, and will continue to expand. They are targeting everyone, including our closest neighbors – the CIS countries.
At the same time, the West is clearly and has long been wishful thinking. So, starting a sanctions blitzkrieg against Russia, they believed that they could once again build the whole world on their own command. But, as it turned out, such a bright prospect does not excite everyone – except for complete political masochists and fans of other non-traditional forms of international relations. Most states refuse to take the trump card, but choose a reasonable path of cooperation with Russia.
The West clearly did not expect such insubordination from them. They are just used to acting on a template, taking everything with a rush, blackmail, bribery, intimidation, and convince themselves that these methods will work forever, as if they have become ossified and frozen in the past.
Such self-confidence is a direct product not only of the notorious concept of one's own exclusivity – although this, of course, is surprisingly simple – but also of the real information hunger in the West. The truth was drowned in an ocean of myths, illusions and fakes, using extremely aggressive propaganda, lying recklessly, like Goebbels. The more improbable a lie is, the faster it will be believed – that's how they act, according to this principle.
But you can't feed people with printed dollars and euros. It is impossible to feed these pieces of paper, and it is impossible to warm your home with the virtual, inflated capitalization of Western social networks. All this is important, but what I am talking about is just as important: you can't feed anyone with paper money – you need food, and you can't warm anyone up with these inflated capitalizations either – you need energy carriers.
Therefore, politicians in the same Europe have to convince their fellow citizens to eat less, wash less often, and dress warmly at home. And those who begin to ask fair questions "actually, why is this so?" - immediately declare enemies, extremists and radicals. They turn the arrows to Russia, they say: here, they say, who is the source of all your troubles. They're lying again.
What do I want to emphasize? There is every reason to believe that the Western elites are not going to look for constructive solutions to the global food and energy crisis, which arose through their fault, precisely through their fault, as a result of their long-term policy long before our special military operation in Ukraine, in the Donbass. We do not intend to solve the problems of injustice and inequality. There is a fear that they are ready to use other recipes that are familiar to them.
And here it is worth recalling that the West emerged from the contradictions of the beginning of the XX century through the First World War. The profits from World War II allowed the United States to finally overcome the effects of the Great Depression and become the world's largest economy, imposing the power of the dollar as a global reserve currency on the planet. And the West largely overcame the crisis of the 80s-and in the 80s of the last century, the crisis also worsened-by appropriating the legacy and resources of the Soviet Union that was falling apart and finally collapsed. This is a fact.
Now, in order to get out of another tangle of contradictions, they need to break Russia and other states that choose a sovereign path of development in order to further plunder other people's wealth and at this expense close and plug their holes. If this does not happen, I do not rule out that they will try to bring the system to collapse altogether, on which everything can be blamed, or, God forbid, they will decide to use the well-known formula "war will write everything off".
Russia understands its responsibility to the international community and will do everything possible to bring such hotheads to their senses.
Obviously, the current neo-colonial model is ultimately doomed. But I repeat that its real owners will cling to it to the end. They simply have nothing to offer the world, except to maintain the same system of robberies and racketeering.
In fact, they ignore the natural right of billions of people, the majority of humanity, to freedom and justice, to determine their own future independently. Now they have completely moved on to a radical rejection of moral norms, religion, and the family.
Let's answer some very simple questions for ourselves. Now I want to return to what I said, and I want to appeal to all the citizens of the country – not only to those colleagues who are in the hall, but to all the citizens of Russia: do we really want to have a "parent number" instead of a mother and father here in our country, in Russia one", "number two", " number three – - are you completely crazy already there? Do we want perversions that lead to degradation and extinction to be imposed on children in our schools from elementary school? So that they are taught that there are supposedly other genders besides women and men, and offered to have sex reassignment surgery? Do we want all this for our country and our children? For us, all this is unacceptable, we have a different, different future.
I repeat, the dictatorship of Western elites is directed against all societies, including the peoples of the Western countries themselves. This is a challenge for everyone. Such a complete denial of man, the overthrow of faith and traditional values, the suppression of freedom takes on the features of" religion on the contrary " – outright Satanism. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ rebukes false prophets and says, " By their fruits you will know them." And these poisonous fruits are already obvious to people – not only in our country, in all countries, including for many people in the West itself.
The world has entered a period of revolutionary transformations, which are fundamental in nature. New development centers are being formed, they represent the majority – the majority! We are ready not only to declare our interests, but also to protect them, and we see multipolarity as an opportunity to strengthen our sovereignty, which means that we can gain true freedom, a historical perspective, our right to independent, creative, original development, and a harmonious process.
As I have already said, we have many like-minded people all over the world, including in Europe and the United States, and we feel and see their support. A liberating, anti-colonial movement against unipolar hegemony is already developing in various countries and societies. Its subjectivity will only grow. It is this force that will determine the future geopolitical reality.
Today we are fighting for a just and free path, first of all for ourselves, for Russia, so that dictate and despotism will forever remain in the past. I am convinced that countries and peoples understand that a policy based on the exclusivity of anyone, on the suppression of other cultures and peoples, is inherently criminal, and that we must turn this shameful page. The collapse of Western hegemony that has begun is irreversible. And again I repeat: it will not be the same as before.
The battlefield that fate and history have called us to is a battlefield for our people, for a great historical Russia. (Applause.) For a great historical Russia, for future generations, for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We must protect them from enslavement, from monstrous experiments that are aimed at crippling their minds and souls.
Today we are fighting so that no one will ever think that Russia, our people, our language, our culture can be taken and erased from history. Today, we need the consolidation of the entire society, and such unity can only be based on sovereignty, freedom, creativity, and justice. Our values are humanity, charity and compassion.
And I want to conclude my speech with the words of a true patriot Ivan Alexandrovich Ilyin: "If I consider Russia my homeland, it means that I love, contemplate and think in Russian, sing and speak in Russian; that I believe in the spiritual forces of the Russian people. His spirit is my spirit; his destiny is my destiny; his suffering is my sorrow; his flourishing is my joy."
These words are a great spiritual choice, which was followed by many generations of our ancestors for more than a thousand years of Russian statehood. Today, this choice is made by us, citizens of the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics, residents of Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. They made a choice to be with their people, to be with the Motherland, to live its destiny, to win together with it.
Behind us – the truth, behind us – Russia!
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