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‘The purification of society will only strengthen the country’ Meduza’s brief retelling of Putin’s darkest speech yet
On March 16, Vladimir Putin held a meeting on "socioeconomic support measures for Russia’s regions.” At the beginning of the meeting, he gave a speech dedicated not just to the war but to a “fifth column” within Russian society — "traitors" who have a "slavish mentality." Read Meduza's brief retelling of Putin’s speech below.
For eight years, residents of the Donbas have been subjected to a genocide. Kyiv sabotaged the fulfillment of the Minsk agreements, while the West ignored the victims in a display of “moral degeneracy" and "complete dehumanization.” Ukraine tried to obtain nuclear weapons; it was only a matter of time before they launched a military offensive on the Donbas and Crimea. Russia’s only option to ensure its own security was to carry out the ongoing “special military operation.” Limiting itself to troops on the territory controlled by the LNR and DNR [the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk “people’s republics”] was not an option — “it wouldn’t have solved the problem conclusively.”
The tactics that the Russian armed forces have used in their military operation in Ukraine have shown themselves to be fully justified. Russian troops are “doing everything they can to avoid civilian casualties in Ukrainian cities.” Meanwhile, the West is indifferent to the fate of the Ukrainian people. By providing weapons and intelligence and sending advisors and mercenaries to Ukraine, the West is pushing Kyiv towards further bloodshed.
This “empire of lies'' has launched an unprecedented information campaign against Russia. Russians in the West are persecuted in a way that suggests “direct analogies to anti-Semitic pograms.” They would have hit Russia with sanctions no matter what — the military operation is just an excuse. But it’s Europeans and Americans who are suffering most from the sanctions, while the countries that are home to more than half of the global population do not support them. This “draws a line under the Western countries’ global domination in both the political and economic spheres.”
The West will continue trying to crush and dismember Russia. It’s placing its bets on the “fifth column,” the people who live in Russia geographically but have a “slavish mentality.” But the Russian population will be able to differentiate between the patriots and the traitors, and this “purification of society” will only strengthen the country.
The Russian economy will adapt to sanctions, though this will require deep structural changes that will lead to a temporary increase in inflation and unemployment. But rest assured, the Central Bank won’t have to turn on the printing press; “we have income.” Russia will respect the rights of foreign companies, despite the fact that the EU and the U.S. “have defaulted on their obligations” by freezing Russian assets.
The Russian economy has all the resources to solve its long-term problems, and the challenges Russia is facing right now will only serve to mobilize the country. All social payments, including pensions and benefits, will be increased, and government employees will get a salary raise. The government will provide each of Russia’s regions a credit line worth 10% of its income, and the heads of Russia’s constituent entities will receive additional powers to make “flexible and swift decisions” to support its citizens and its economy.
Translation by Sam Breazeale
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