Putin rips into countries that 'impose their rules' on others just 15 months after Russia invaded Ukraine
- Putin exhibited a stunning lack of self-awareness as he slammed countries that try to "impose" on others.
- The Russian leader said such countries were contributing to "mounting instability" across the globe.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, the architect of an invasion of its neighbor that kicked off the largest military conflict in Europe since World War II, apparently takes issue with countries that "impose" on others and create instability.
Exhibiting an astonishing lack of self-awareness during a speech at a security conference, Putin on Wednesday said that countries vying to "preserve their dominance and impose their rules" on others were contributing to "mounting instability" across the globe.
Amid Russia's ongoing, unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, the Russian leader slammed countries that act with "complete disregard of other countries' sovereignty, national interests and traditions."
As Russia works to violently overthrow Ukraine's current, democratically-elected government, Putin lamented that "the negative burden of conflicts is piling up, and people in many countries are experiencing the dramatic aftermath of the foreign-engineered coups."
The war in Ukraine, which began exactly 15 months ago Wednesday, is driven in part by Putin's nostalgia for the Soviet Union and desire to reestablish Russia's hegemony in the region. The former KGB officer has falsely claimed that Ukraine is not a real country and has no history of its own to justify the invasion, which has backfired and seen Russia isolated on the global stage and made Putin a pariah among world leaders.
Millions have been displaced in Ukraine as a result of the war, and the death toll from the fighting continues to rise. Russian forces have suffered substantial losses, but Ukrainian casualties are far from few. Russia has faced widespread accusations of war crimes in Ukraine, and the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin in March over allegations of involvement in the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children.
Putin has repeatedly made nuclear threats throughout the war, raising concerns around the world. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has also rapidly reshaped Europe's security apparatus, pushing Finland and Sweden — two historically neutral countries — to move to join NATO. Finland, which shares an 830-mile border with Russia, has since become a full member of the security alliance. Sweden's path to membership, however, has been complicated by objections from Hungary and Turkey.
The conflict in Ukraine has raised tensions between the West and Russia to historic heights while also contributing to an increasingly contentious dynamic between Western countries and China.
Though Beijing has not openly endorsed Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Chinese government has also refused to join the chorus of voices in the international community that have condemned Moscow over the war. Moscow and Beijing have also repeatedly touted their strong ties since the war began.
Putin's speech on Wednesday came as Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin visited his Chinese counterpart in Beijing, Chinese Premier Li Qiang. Mishustin during the visit said that relations between the two countries were "at an unprecedented high level," per the Associated Press.
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