June 1, 2023

South Sudan News Agency

Complete English News World

Putin views the war as a battle for Russia’s survival

  • Putin says Russia is struggling to survive
  • Putin says that the Russian people may not survive
  • Putin says the West is trying to solve Russia
  • Russia should take into account NATO’s nuclear capability

MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin has described confrontation with the West over the Ukraine war as an existential battle for the survival of Russia and the Russian people and said he had to take into account NATO’s nuclear capabilities.

A year after ordering the invasion of Ukraine, Putin is increasingly presenting the war as a defining moment in Russian history β€” and says he believes the future of Russia and its people is at stake.

“They have one goal: to dissolve the former Soviet Union and its essential part – the Russian Federation,” Putin told state TV Rossiya 1 in an interview recorded on Wednesday but released on Sunday.

NATO and the West have rejected this account, saying their goal is to help Ukraine defend itself against an unprovoked attack.

Putin said the West wants to divide Russia and then take control of the world’s largest producer of raw materials, a move that, he said, could lead to the destruction of many of Russia’s peoples including the ethnic Russian majority.

Latest updates

View 2 more stories

“I don’t even know if an ethnic group like the Russian people will be able to survive in the form in which it exists today,” Putin said. He said the West’s plans had been put on paper, but he did not say where.

See also  Moscow's chief rabbi 'in exile' after resisting Kremlin pressure over war | Russia

The United States denied its desire to destroy Russia, while President Joe Biden warned that the conflict between Russia and NATO could lead to the outbreak of World War III, although he also said that Putin should not remain in power.

Putin said tens of billions of dollars in U.S. and European military aid to Ukraine shows that Russia is now facing the same NATO β€” a Cold War nightmare for Soviet and Western leaders alike.

Ukraine says it will not rest until the last Russian soldiers are expelled from Ukraine, including from Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014.


Putin’s existential framing of the war allows the 70-year-old Kremlin chief to direct the Russian people to a much deeper conflict while also allowing them greater freedom in the kinds of weapons they can one day use.

Russia’s official nuclear doctrine permits the use of nuclear weapons if they – or other types of weapons of mass destruction – are used against it, or if conventional weapons are used, endangering the “very existence of the state”.

Putin has indicated that he is ready to tear up the architecture of nuclear arms control – including the major powers’ halt to nuclear testing – unless the West backs down in Ukraine.

And on Tuesday, he sought to underscore Russian resolve in Ukraine by suspending a landmark nuclear arms control treaty, announcing that new strategic systems would be on combat mission, and warning that Moscow could resume nuclear testing.

Putin said Russia would only resume discussions after French and British nuclear weapons were taken into account.

See also  Ukraine war: Zelensky visits The Hague while new explosions rock Kiev

Russia, which inherited the USSR’s nuclear weapons, has the world’s largest stockpile of nuclear warheads. According to the newspaper, it has more warheads than the United States, France and Britain combined Federation of American Scientists.

β€œIn today’s conditions, when all the leading countries of NATO have declared that their main goal is to inflict a strategic defeat on us, so that, as they say, our people suffer, how can we ignore their nuclear capabilities in these conditions?” Putin said.

Putin said the biggest result of the past year was the unity of the Russian people.

Reuters reporting, editing by Jay Faulconbridge and Thomas Janowski

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.