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Putin: Russia’s Greatest Weapon Is the Unity of Its People

March 13, 2024 (EIRNS)—In a lengthy interview with Rossiya Segodnya, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia’s greatest weapon is the unity of the Russian people. Countries in the so-called collective West found themselves powerless in the face of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine and the unity of the Russian people, he argued. Some Western elites do not want such a tremendous country as Russia beside them and seek to divide it, Putin said. At the start of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, Western countries were happy and believed they would be capable of ending Russia through sanctions, weapons and Ukrainian nationalists, Putin said.

“Hence the slogan: ”To inflict a strategic defeat on Russia on the battlefield. But later came the realization that it was unlikely, and still later—that it was impossible.” Putin said. “And they came to understand that instead of a strategic defeat, they are faced with powerlessness, a powerlessness despite the fact that they were relying on the might of the all-powerful United States. They felt frustrated seeing the unity of the Russian people, the fundamentals of the Russian financial and economic system and its sustainability, and before the growing capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.”

Putin also said that Russia is ready for talks on ending the war in Ukraine but they have to be real, not based on Western wishful thinking. “Are we ready for talks? Yes, we are, but we are only ready for talks that are not based on some psychotropic drug-induced wishful thinking, but those that are based on the developed situation on the ground, as they say,” Putin said.

“We are, however, ready for a serious conversation, and we want to resolve all conflicts, and especially this conflict, by peaceful means,” he continued. “But we must clearly understand for ourselves that this is not a pause that the enemy wants to take for rearmament, but this is a serious conversation with security guarantees for Russia.”

Putin also denied that Russia is out to split the West. Indeed, he said, the West is splitting itself. “We are not going to engage in any attempts to split the West; they will do that themselves with flying colors. But we will, of course, strive to ensure that our interests are respected,” Putin said. Putin, when commenting on the possibility of a “fair treaty” with the West, also added that he does not trust the word of anyone in the West any more, so Russia needs written guarantees. “I do not want to say this, but I do not trust anyone. However, we need guarantees. And these guarantees should be in writing, they should be good enough for us, and they should be something that we would believe in. That is what I am talking about,” Putin said.

Putin also said that foreign troops and additional foreign long range weapons in Ukraine will make little difference. “The thing is, western military personnel have been present in Ukraine for a while, they were present even before the coup ... But if we are talking about foreign countries’ official military contingents, then I am sure that it will not change the situation on the battlefield. This is the most important. The same as arms shipments do not change anything,” Putin said. He also warned that if Polish troops enter Western Ukraine to relieve Ukrainian troops to go to the battle front in the East, they will never leave. The President explained that Poland would then want the lands that it considers historically its own to be returned to them.

As for long-range missiles from the U.S. and U.K., he stated: “Yes, they just cause us damage, certainly. It is obvious. But in fact, this does not change the course of the combat and the consequences that inevitably come for the opponent.”