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In State Of The Nation Address, Russian President Putin Says West Creating ‘Nuclear War Risk’

In a message to Western nations who may be considering sending troops into Ukraine, Putin warned of a “real” risk of nuclear war.

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President Putin entering the hall to deliver State of the nation address Photo: | AP
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Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered his State of the Nation address on Thursday, less than three weeks before a presidential election.

Putin's speech, broadcast nationwide and even screened in some cinemas, was delivered to members of both houses of parliament, state officials, military commanders, and soldiers.

On The War In Ukraine: In his address, Putin explicitly referred to the two years of fighting in Ukraine as a "war", despite his repeated insistence that Russia's invasion should be described as a "special military operation." 

Putin said that Russian businesses have sent billions to charity in the last two years.

He called for unity to defend Russia's sovereignty and expressed gratitude to those fighting for the country's interests, saying, "I bow to your feet."

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The Russian leader told those present that he is grateful for all those fighting for the interest "of the fatherland", adding: "I bow to your feet." He then called for a minute of silence.

On Sending NATO Troops To Ukraine: In a message to Western nations who may be considering sending troops into Ukraine, Putin warned of a “real” risk of nuclear war.

“There has been talk about the possibility of sending NATO military contingents to Ukraine. But we remember the fate of those who once sent their contingents to our country’s territory. But now the consequences for possible interventionists will be far more tragic,” Putin said addressing parliament.

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He said, "They need to understand we too have weapons that can strike targets on their territory. All this really threatens a conflict with the use of nuclear weapons and the destruction of civilisation. Don’t they get that?”

On Dialogue With The United States: Putin said that in 2018, Russia put forward a proposal for a nuclear agreement between the two countries, but the US "torpedoed" it. 

He added, "The US is only ever interested in negotiating when there is a clear benefit." Putin expressed scepticism about US intentions, suggesting that ahead of the upcoming US election, politicians want to demonstrate to voters "they're still ruling the world." 

He accused the US of seeking to ultimately defeat Russia and "drag us into an arms race."

Putin Praised Russia's Allies: Putin commended Russia's allies and their policies, including the 'One Belt, One Road' initiative in China - a global infrastructure strategy.

He highlighted the importance of establishing "new contact points" with Arab countries and nations in Latin America and Africa. 

Since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russia has faced waves of sanctions from Europe, the UK, and the US, including measures such as preventing Russian banks from accessing normal trading systems and halting the purchase of Russian oil and gas.

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Family Values, Health And Education: Putin also discussed family values, which he centred around giving birth to more children and "to multiply our multi-ethnic nation".

"We choose life, Russia remains the pillar of traditional values," he said

Putin advised the people of Russia with an old Soviet-era motto: "Stop drinking, take up skiing." He discussed the need to improve the nation's health, aiming to increase life expectancy from the current 73 years to 78 years by 2030, as part of a national project called "Long and Happy Life."

Putin also talked about education and schooling. The Russian leader acknowledged that educational facilities are limited, particularly in cities, and said that they will build an additional 150 schools and a further 100 kindergartens. He said that he wants to launch a new national project that focuses on the youth of Russia.

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The Russian leader also proposed extra federal payment for mentors in technical colleges and teacher training initiatives.

Putin concluded his speech with a message, stating: "We are one big family, we are together and therefore we will do as we are planning and dreaming. I believe in our victories and success and in the future of Russia".

(With Inputs From BBC News)

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