Vladimr Putin accuses West of starting war


He said the US, France and the UK had their nuclear weapons aimed at Russia.

“Of course, we’re not going to strike first,” Putin said, on the use of nuclear weapons.

President Joe Biden delivers a speech marking the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in Warsaw.

President Joe Biden delivers a speech marking the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in Warsaw.Credit:AP

The treaty limited the number of long-range nuclear weapons the two countries could deploy and it established an inspection and notification regime.

NATO boss Jens Stoltenberg said Putin was preparing for “more war” and abandoning “one of the last major arms control agreements we have”.

“Over the last years, Russia has violated and walked away from key arms control agreements,” he said.


“With today’s decision on New START, the whole arms-control architecture has been dismantled.

“This is just another example that we are moving away from the arms-control architecture, the international rules-based order we have used decades to build.”

Putin said he was working on a revamp of the military strategy for what he calls the “special military operation” he ordered almost a year ago to the day in Ukraine. The war has become bogged in a stalemate, but Russia and Ukraine have suffered heavy casualties.

Western officials estimate that the casualty rate for Russians is three wounded to one dead, compared to 10 or 20 wounded to one dead, for Ukraine.

The officials also estimate there are currently 300,000 Russian troops in Ukraine and that Moscow is having to dip into older-style Soviet tanks for the second year of the war. A separate analysis by the International Institute for Strategic Studies says Russia has lost around half of its tanks, many of which were taken over by the Ukrainians.

Russia is struggling to resupply its munitions, with officials estimating that it will take “years and years” to restock the amount used in the first year of the war.

Putin’s meandering speech focused heavily on domestic policies, including education and infrastructure, but he also launched into one of his characteristic attacks on the West, including gay marriage.

He falsely claimed that paedophilia was “totally normal” in the West and then complained about the legalisation of gay marriage in many Western countries. He disparaged a proposal by the Church of England to refer to God in gender-neutral terms.


“What can you say here,” he said. “We will never be similar to Western regimes and Kyiv regimes.”

Putin accused the West of allowing the growth of Nazism in Germany in the 1930s and doing the same with Ukraine.

“History repeats itself,” he said. “We are confident in our power, truth is with us.

“Western elites have become a symbol of total, unprincipled lies to their own people. They’re the ones who started the war. We are using force to stop it.”

President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said that was absurd.

“Nobody is attacking Russia,” said Sullivan, who travelled with Biden to Kyiv on Monday.

“There’s a kind of absurdity in the notion that Russia was under some form of military threat from Ukraine or anyone else.

“If Russia stops fighting the war in Ukraine and goes home, the war ends.


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