September 20, 2022
So, I just watched Putin’s speech live on France 24. Probably not the exact translation, as they were doing it live, and in this case some nuances might be lost, but the gist was nevertheless clear. Here are my reflections on what was said.
First of all, the speech was not aimed at the world, but was for the internal audience. Sure, a number of pundits will pick it apart and find “controversial” statements, but this is to be expected. I’ll lay out what I picked up in bullet points. The bullet points are in no particular order.
- Russia has gained four new territories (signing ceremony was held immediately after the speech. Of course, parts of the two out of four territories are under Ukraine (Donetsk and Zaporozhye), but I do think that this will be resolved in the near future).
- Four territories held referenda to express their desire to join Russia. The right of people to self-determine is enshrined in UN Article 1, and Russia’s acceptance of the four territories is in line with the international law and UN Article 1.
- This step was necessary to protect historic Russian population that have been shelled since 2014, and were denied their culture, language and identity by Ukraine post 2014 Maidan.
- Russia has endured a number of interventions from the collective west, starting in 17th century (Poland), with the most recent after the 1917 revolution. Russia has persevered and won.
- In 1990s, after the USSR dissolution, that was progressed despite overwhelming opposition by the population of USSR during the referendum, the collective West tried to take Russia apart and gain control of her natural resources, while referring to Russia as a partner.
- USA have been acting as a hegemon, dividing the rest of the world into their friends (vassals) and the rest – countries and peoples that were treated as colonies, allowing the USA to collect “hegemon tax”.
- USA have ruled the world based on the set of rules that they have established themselves – who gave them this right?
- The West have engaged in a policy of colonisation since 15th century. Many native peoples, nations were decimated, including American Indians, Chinese through opium wars.
- Now the USA has resorted to destroying strategic assets owned by international actors, while denying any involvement. One has to ask – who is responsible? The answer is, whomever benefits the most is the one responsible.
- Now the USA is pushing forward with woke agenda. Russia has two genders, not some other genders. Russia doesn’t need Parent 1, Parent 2, Parent 3. Russia will live according to its culture, religious beliefs and traditional values.
- “One thing that I want to point out – things will not go on the same way they were before” (I think that was the only statement pointed at the collective West, I’m recording this from memory, might not be the actual quote).
- People of the four areas have come back to the Russia’s fold, and we will protect them with everything we have.
- Russia is always open to negotiations and are ready to go back to the negotiating table, albeit under a different set of conditions that were discussed in April.
No doubt, we will have analysis and dissecting of the statements in the days to come. This is my take on the speech, and I a not a political analyst, a think tank shark, or anything else of sort. But I thought the speech was to the point. It certainly had its patriotism moments, but overall it was balanced, called a lot on the Russian history rather than rah-rah statements, and did not come across as speeches in certain other countries, both historical and current, declaring exceptionalism and primacy of one country / nation over others.
As to the next steps and developments, this one is tricky. There have been reports that Ukraine was trying hard as hell, regardless of losses, to take Liman in DNR prior to the declaration of reunification to deliver a blow in information war against Russia. So far, despite heavy losses, Liman is holding. With the events of today, it will be interesting to watch how the events unfold.
Finally, I have come across a certain Telegram channel, in Russian, t.me/resident_ua – google translate is your friend, although sometimes the slang used makes it hard to decipher, but ~90% of the message gets through. I have only been following it for a week or so. This channel posits itself as reporting internal workings of the Office of the President (OP) of Ukraine. I have no idea as to authenticity of the claim, but lots of things being reported are spot on (remember, my experience is one week old, so pinch of salt).
In the last couple of days it was reported that (again, in no particular order):
- Zelensky gave orders to take Liman, no matter the losses.
- Zelensky is upset that the West is giving media space to his head general Zaluzhny, as it looks like he might be hand-picked to lead the country if Zelensky falls out of favour.
- MI-6, back in June/July, informed the OP that use of tactical nuclear weapons have been discussed in the Kremlin at least twice.
- MI-6 warned the OP that Putin’s speech will contain an ultimatum to Ukraine that if it doesn’t surrender, Russia will destroy its power generation sector in two weeks, after which it will resort to the use of tactical nuclear weapons (Putin’s speech did not have anything to this effect – part reason I wanted to listen to see if MI-6 claims were legit).
- USA have transferred a number of US officers, under the guise of private mercenaries, to Germany to direct Ukrainian war efforts. This, effectively, means that the hybrid war is real, and mission control centre is moving from Kiev to Berlin, rendering Zelensky and Zaluzhny obsolete.
May we live in interesting times!