The world is facing “probably the most dangerous decade” since the end of World War II, Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned.
In an extensive speech this Thursday, the president tried to justify it invasion of Ukraine by Russia, a move that left his country internationally isolated.
Putin also accused the West of nuclear blackmail against Russia to drive allies away from Moscow.
The West has recently condemned nuclear threats from the Kremlin.
Earlier this week, the NATO military alliance condemned Russia’s unsubstantiated claims that Ukraine could use a “dirty bomb”. That is, conventional explosives mixed with radioactive material.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the members of the alliance “reject this accusation” and that “Russia must not use this as an excuse for escalation.”
Putin spoke at the annual Valdai forum after a series of recent military defeats in Ukraine and growing public anger in the country over a campaign to mobilize some 300,000 Russians for the war effort.
A day before his speech in Moscow, the Russian head of state oversaw routine nuclear drills that included an alleged nuclear strike in retaliation for a massive nuclear attack by an enemy.
“We have never said anything proactively about the possible use of nuclear weapons by Russia. We have only responded with suggestions to the comments of Western leaders,” he told the audience on Thursday.
Putin singled out former British Prime Minister Liz Truss for suggesting during the election campaign in August that she would be ready to press the nuclear button if circumstances demanded. He said he was surprised Britain’s allies didn’t protest: “What were we supposed to do? Shut up? Pretend we weren’t listening?”
However, he warned about this himself several times Russia would use “all available means” to protect itselfin what is widely seen as a clear nuclear threat.
The Russian president again accused the West and what he called its “dangerous, bloody and dirty game” of denying countries’ sovereignty and unity. The West’s “undivided dominance” over world affairs is now coming to an end, he said.
“We are at a historic border. We are probably facing the most dangerous, unpredictable and at the same time most important decade since the end of the Second World War.“, held.
The West may no longer be in charge of global dominance, but it is “trying desperately,” according to Putin.
“The future world order is taking shape before our eyes,” he said, accusing the West, led by the United States, of trying to destroy Russia.
No evidence was provided to support his claims.
There are no regrets in Putin’s world
Analysis by Steve Rosenberg, BBC Russia editor
What we saw and heard this Thursday is the world according to Vladimir Putin. It is a world where Russia is absolutely clean and the West is to blame for everything from the war in Ukraine to the global food crisis.
We have seen the leader of the Kremlin who has absolutely no regrets for what he has done, or at least is not ready to express it publicly, if at all.
And so Putin painted for us his parallel reality of what is happening. He blamed the West for “igniting” the war in Ukraine and insisted that the new world order must be based on “law and justice”. This is coming from a president who eight months ago launched an all-out invasion of a sovereign and independent nation.
Putin claimed that Russia was unfairly accused of threatening to use nuclear weapons. And yet, since February, Putin has dropped several not-so-subtle hints that he is prepared to use every weapon in Russia’s arsenal in this conflict.
For me, perhaps the most eloquent comment was on the “losses” that Putin admitted to having suffered in his “special military operation”.
I always think about the human lives lost, he said. But that was all he said about it, before quickly moving on to the “enormous benefits” he believed Russia had gained, including the “strengthening of Russia’s sovereignty.”
Without a trace of remorse or regret. There are no U-turn signs.
remember that you can receive notifications from BBC World. Download the new version of our app and activate it so you don’t miss our best content.