Although President Joseph Biden, who recently returned from a trip to Ukraine, hailed Western democracies for resisting overt Russian aggression, Vladimir Putin has increased his animosity toward the West.
Mr. Putin took the floor first in a week packed with activities leading up to Friday’s anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
He asserted that Ukraine had become a “anti-Russian” neo-Nazi dictatorship as a result of the West’s support for Nazi Germany.
Mr. Biden said hours later that autocrats only knew how to say “No, no, no!”
“Putin assumed the world would roll over, but he was mistaken,” he declared, promising that Nato was more unified than ever. He said that Kyiv stood strong, proud, tall, and free and that Western support for Ukraine will not falter.
Andrzej Duda, the president of Poland, welcomed him to Warsaw’s royal castle and stated that Mr. Biden had demonstrated to the world that there was nothing to fear by traveling to Kyiv. The purpose of NATO was to protect and stand by the free world, and Ukraine “must win this battle.”
The military operations in Ukraine by Russia were barely mentioned in Mr. Putin’s speech, and there was no hint as to how the conflict may be resolved. Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner mercenary group, claimed that the chief of staff and defense minister were attempting to eliminate his organization and starve it of weapons. This information was the primary development concerning the Russian military.
The New Start nuclear arms control agreement between the US and Russia was suspended, as the Russian president had already announced. Leaders of NATO and the UK have pushed him to rethink the agreement since it curbs the number of nuclear warheads.
He also announced that he has activated fresh ground-based systems for combat. In order to defend Russia and the Ukrainian territory it has annexed, he had already vowed to use “all means at our disposal” last year.
The lengthy address by Mr. Putin at an exposition center just a short distance from the Kremlin claimed the truth early on.
President Putin argued in his speech to both houses of the Russian parliament, “They were the ones who launched the war… we’re employing force to halt it.”
Although there have been no Western troops present in Ukraine, Russia’s foreign ministry appeared to reaffirm the assertion on Tuesday when it summoned US Ambassador Lynne Tracy and demanded that the United States take action to remove “US-Nato military and equipment” from the country.
The address of President Putin was fact-checked
In his yearly speech, Putin advocates for Russian aggressiveness.
Mr. Putin has repeatedly placed the blame on the West and NATO, and he repeated many of his assertions from his Broadcast address on the day of the invasion a year ago. He brought up the Iraq War and the Belgrade Bombing for Russians to remember, but he avoided mentioning Russia’s protracted and destructive involvement in the Syrian Civil War, its invasion of the neighboring country of Georgia, or its annexation of Crimea.
The human cost of Europe’s deadliest invasion since World War Two was starkly brought to mind as he spoke.
The city of Kherson, which was freed from Russian soldiers in November, was struck by Russian shells, resulting in six deaths and several injuries. In the city center, a bus station, a drugstore, and residential areas were attacked. According to the local media, a kindergarten was also among the targets.
The president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, stated in his nightly address on Tuesday that Russia’s attacks “did not and could not have any military objective” but were instead designed to instill “fear.”
In spite of intense pressure, he continued, Ukrainian forces were holding their positions on the front lines in eastern Ukraine, where the majority of the present combat is occurring.
How does the New Start treaty work?
The New Start deal, which was signed in 2010 by Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama, was intended to stop nuclear conflict. It allows each nation the authority to inspect the other while limiting the amount of strategic nuclear warheads that both sides can deploy.
Although the Covid epidemic interfered with weapons inspections, the agreement entered into place in 2011 and was extended ten years later.
The cap on long-range nuclear warheads is 1,550 for each side, which is less than the previous Start agreement.
About all of the nuclear weapons in the world are owned by the two former Cold War adversaries together. Despite aggressive rhetoric from both sides during the conflict in Ukraine, Moscow has previously stated that it wished to retain the treaty in effect.
In an extremely intricate security operation, President Biden traveled to Warsaw the day after meeting with President Zelensky in Kyiv.
The visit, according to the Polish president, delivered “an enormously important political signal, particularly for Ukraine,” but it also showed that the free world and the US president were with them and did not forget.
Much of Mr. Biden’s praise was saved for Mr. Zelensky and the Ukrainians who had recaptured territory that had been taken during the early stages of the conflict. But, he also offered words of encouragement to Maia Sandu, the pro-EU president of Moldova, in response to claims that Russia was attempting to topple the ruling authorities.
President Putin exacerbated tensions in Moldova on Tuesday by rescinding a 2012 directive that supported Moldova’s sovereignty in deciding the fate of Transnistria, a breakaway territory of Moldova where Russian forces are stationed.
President Biden went out of his way to reiterate US support for one of the alliance’s most important commitments. On Wednesday, he is scheduled to meet with the leaders of nine nations on Nato’s eastern flank.
Members of NATO agree, as stated in Article 5, to defend any other member who is attacked. According to Mr. Biden, US commitment to the alliance and Article 5 is “rock solid.”
An attack on one is an attack against all, as understood by every member of NATO and by Russia.
Following Mr. Biden’s visit to Kyiv on Tuesday, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni made her maiden trip to the country. She said Ukrainians could trust on Italy, saying: “We have been with you since the beginning and we will stay till the finish.” She was at the cities of Bucha and Irpin, where Russian troops killed hundreds of civilians.