Russian President Vladimir Putin called out the U.S. and its allies during a speech on Thursday, accusing “Western elites” of playing a “dangerous, bloody, and dirty game” and seeking to blame them for many of the world’s problems.
Putin spoke at the Valdai Club discussion forum in Moscow, where he also blamed Western governments, many of which have offered support to Kyiv in the face of Moscow’s illegal invasion, for seeking global domination and attempting to “control” the world’s natural resources.
According to CNN, Putin said, “Power over the world is what the so-called West is banking on in its own game. But this is a dangerous game. It’s a bloody game and it’s a dirty game. It denies all the sovereignties of countries, and their uniqueness, it doesn’t take into consideration the interests of other countries.”
Putin also said the West is “staging color revolutions” in other countries referencing the 2014 Ukraine pride parade, according to CNN.
“A real pride parade is something for modernized, democratic countries with a high level of education and tolerance for individuals,” said Nazariy Boiarsky, an LGBT activist involved in the 2014 Kyiv Pride events tola Aljazeera. “A real gay pride parade in Ukraine will not be possible for many years to come.”
“The West can do whatever they want with gay parades,” Putin said Thursday. “But they shouldn’t dictate the same rules for Russia.”
On Thursday, Putin also denied that Russian planned to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
“We never intentionally said anything about the possibility of using nuclear weapons by Russia. We only responded with hints to (nuclear threats from) from Western leaders,” Putin said Thursday.
In the news: Former Librarian In Florida Gets Over 21 Years In Prison For Production, Distribution Of Child Sex Abuse Images
In September, Putin doubled down on the credibility of his threats to use nuclear weapons for Russia’s self-defense in a speech – in addition to calling up hundreds of thousands of additional troops for battle.
In the largest escalation since Russia’s initial invasion of Ukraine in February, Putin made good on a partial mobilization for 300,000 reserve and special operations personnel in an executive order.
He issued threats of nuclear strikes in response to the “aggressive policy of Western elites” to continue provoking Russia on the 1000-km line of contact in Ukraine and providing the Ukrainian army with weapons and supplies.
“In the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly make use of all weapon systems available to us. This is not a bluff,” he said.
Putin’s speech aired less than 24 hours after the Russian-installed leaders in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions in Ukraine’s south, as well as the two sympathetic presidents in the eastern Donbas region, announced plans to hold referendums on acceding to the Russian Federation later in September.
Putin added that North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces were conducting reconnaissance operations over Russian territory and had openly discussed launching nuclear weapons against the federation, despite lack of evidence for the latter, according to The Wall Street Journal.
In the speech, Putin also accused the West of committing “nuclear blackmail” over the Zaporizhzhia power plant, after Zelenskyy said Putin was engaged in “nuclear terrorism” for its dangerous shelling in the area.
“The goal of that part of the West is to weaken, divide and ultimately destroy our country,” he said, accusing Western countries of using Ukrainians as “cannon fodder” to prosecute a genocidal proxy war in Ukraine.
Putin blamed the West for attempting to suppress the self-determination of “development centers,” likely referring to the two self-styled independent republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, as well as the Russian-occupied southern regions in Ukraine.
“But a peaceful settlement obviously did not suit the West, which is why, after certain compromises were coordinated, Kyiv was actually ordered to wreck all these agreements,” Putin said, justifying a decision to call up troops.
Putin breaking his prior pledges not to order a military mobilization is “an admission that his invasion is failing,” U.K. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said.
The soldiers, drawn from Russia’s active reserves and special operations forces, will undergo training tailored for the conditions of the “special military operation” in Ukraine, Putin said. He also described plans to make volunteer soldiers legally members of the Russian military.