When Vladimir Putin accuses the West of certain behaviours, it is often because he is doing just that himself | World News

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In 2018, when Vladimir Putin announced a raft of new hypersonic nuclear missile systems, complete with video graphics of intercontinental ballistic missiles headed towards California, he left it to the end of his lengthy two-hour address to Russian lawmakers to deliver the killer blow.

This year he wasted no time in pulling his punches, with fresh nuclear sabre-rattling and his by-now hackneyed critique of the “so-called West” coming pretty much straight off the top.

Russian forces had the initiative in Donbas and would continue to press their advantage, he said.

Latest updates: Putin threatens nuclear response as he claims NATO ‘preparing to strike Russian territory’

Vladimir Putin delivers his annual address. Pic: Reuters
Image:
Vladimir Putin delivers his annual address. Pic: Reuters

Those missile systems announced in 2018 were either in use on the battlefield or about to be, with fresh weapons in the pipeline.

Understandably, he wasted no time in responding to recent Western talking points about a possible ground troop deployment to Ukraine and whether Ukraine has the right to strike military targets outside of its borders.

The summary on both – NATO should think twice.

“They are selecting targets to strike on our territory and contemplating the most efficient means of destruction,” he said.

“They must grasp that we also have weapons capable of striking targets on their territory.”

Vladimir Putin speaks after flying on a modernized Tu-160M nuclear-capable strategic bomber, in Kazan.
Pic:Sputnik/ Reuters
Image:
Mr Putin speaks after flying on a TU-160M nuclear bomber. Pic; Reuters

And even though it was Mr Putin who recently flew in his freshly modernised TU-160M nuclear-capable strategic bomber, even though it was Mr Putin who boasted of his new Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile being now in service and ready to be demonstrated, even though the endless nuclear rhetoric tends to come from him, it was the West he blamed for dialling up the possibility of nuclear war.

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Vladimir Putin signs a picture of a TU-160M nuclear bomber. Pic: Reuters
Image:
Vladimir Putin signs a picture of a TU-160M nuclear bomber. Pic: Reuters

He said: “Everything they are inventing now, spooking the world with the threat of a conflict involving nuclear weapons, which potentially means the end of civilisation – don’t they realise this?”

What Mr Putin says, he means. What he denies, he often ends up doing.

People wait for a bus under an image of Vladimir Putin and a quote from his annual address. Pic: Reuters
Image:
People wait for a bus under an image of Vladimir Putin and a quote from his annual address. Pic: Reuters

A game Putin knows how to play well

When he accuses the West of certain behaviours, it is often because he is doing just that himself.

The question is always how much is bluff and how much is not, which is in itself the essence of nuclear deterrence. That is a game Mr Putin knows how to play extremely well.

As for the rest of the speech, that was largely for the audience back home. Having babies is a must. The same old chat on traditional values. The economy is booming. Everybody is on board. The country is united.

This is after all a ‘campaign’ speech, besides being a message to his adversaries. For an ‘election’ he cannot fail to win.

Read original article here.

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