Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kazakhstan’s Kasim-Jomart Tokayev and Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev arrive in Moscow, Russia for the Independence Day May 9, 2023 Working breakfast for leaders of the Commonwealth of States (CIS).
Vladimir Smirnov | Sputnik | Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin lashed out at countries he said were trying to “impose their own dominance” and rules on others, saying on Wednesday those who did so were destabilizing the world and ” Complete disregard for the sovereignty, national interests and traditions of other countries”.
Speaking at a conference on security issues on Wednesday, Putin said the world is becoming increasingly unstable and “new tensions are emerging”.
He blamed the turmoil of this new era on unspecified “individual countries and associations”—often understood to refer to Russia’s Western rivals and NATO—who he said sought to “assert, maintain their primacy. , imposing their own rules with complete disregard for the sovereignty, national interests and traditions of other countries.”
Putin said: “All this is accompanied by the accumulation of military potential, gross interference in the internal affairs of other countries, and attempts to gain unilateral advantages from the energy and food crises provoked by some Western countries”
There is no hint of irony in Putin, the leader of 23 years in power in Russia who has overseen a program of systematic interference in the internal affairs and sovereignty of other countries, most recently Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine 15 months ago.
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks from a screen in Red Square to a rally and concert commemorating the annexation of four regions of Ukraine – Luhansk, Donnie, on September 30, 2022. Tsk, Kherson and Zaporozhye.
Alexander Nemenov | AFP | Getty Images
Soldiers in protective gear remove a police car and other vehicles from a public car park as the investigation continues into the poisoning of Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, Britain, March 11, 2018.
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disregard for ukraine sovereignty
However, last year’s Russian invasion of Ukraine was widely seen as one of the most egregious “disregard” of another state’s sovereignty in the 21st century.
When Russia launched the invasion, Putin sought to justify the move to a domestic audience, saying Russia wanted to “denazify” and “demilitarize” Ukraine, a country whose president is Jewish and not in NATO.
Still, most onlookers understand that the stated goal conceals Moscow’s true intentions to overthrow Kiev’s pro-Western government and regain its influence over the former Soviet republic.
Ukraine has steadily moved closer to its European neighbors over the years, despite Russia’s attempts to maintain a pro-Kremlin leadership in the country. A pro-European uprising in Ukraine in 2014 toppled then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was Russia’s preferred figure in Kiev.
Yanukovych, who fled to Russia amid the ensuing political crisis, still slammed the incident as a U.S.-orchestrated “coup” but offered no evidence. The uprising, or the Maidan Revolution as it is known to Ukrainians, led to the start of armed hostilities between Russia and Ukraine, with Russia invading Crimea in March 2014 and fomenting pro-Russian unrest and armed separatist movements in the east of the country .
Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 28, 2014. A huge mural showing a map of the Crimea peninsula is covered with flags of the Russian Federation.
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Russia’s perception of Ukraine and other ex-Soviet states slipping westward and their sphere of influence has unnerved Moscow, and it has sought to maintain influence over its neighbors by all means.
Georgia is playing the same playbook as eastern Ukraine and two Moscow-backed pro-Russian separatist “republics” there. In 2008, Russia recognized the “independence” of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the country’s pro-Russian separatist regions, a move that led to war, albeit on a much smaller scale than what we’ve seen in Ukraine. Georgia still considers Russia to occupy 20 percent of the country’s territory. In Moldova, volatile, pro-Russian territory Transnistria is also seen as a potential target for Russian annexation.
Russia accuses NATO of insecurity
Russia has been sanctioned after sanctions for its geopolitical meddling and misdemeanors, but its sweeping invasion of Ukraine and recent wars on European soil have prompted decisive action by NATO, with Western powers gathering around Kiev to provide it with military and Financial aid to help it fend off its neighbors.
Western leaders have repeatedly warned that wider security is at stake and that Russia cannot be allowed to win in an invasion amid fears other former Soviet states could be next as Putin is seen trying to rebuild the Soviet empire; Putin publicly laments the disappearance of the Soviet Union, calling it one of the greatest geopolitical disasters Russia has lived through the last century.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov looks on next to Russian President Vladimir Putin as they await the US-Russia summit at Villa La Grange in Geneva, June 16, 2021.
Brendan Smiarowski | AFP | Getty Images
Speaking at the same event on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the West wanted to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia and claimed that NATO-provided weapons for Ukraine were spreading beyond the country’s borders.
“The collective West makes no secret of its intentions to inflict strategic defeat on us. The Kiev regime is being used as a battering ram against Russia, and NATO weapons are fueling it. Meanwhile, parts of the West supply — and increasingly parts of — is spreading uncontrollably across the globe,” he said, adding that the news agency Tass news agency reported.