Ukraine War: They Started War, We Used Force To Stop It, Says Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin also said Ukrainian people had become 'hostages of their Western masters' who occupied the country in political, economic, and military terms, and that Volodymyr Zelenskyy's 'regime is not serving their national interest' but those of foreign powers.


Vladimir Putin

Just days before the first anniversary of the Ukraine War, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday said it was Ukraine that had started the war and Russia merely countered it with force.

In his state-of-the-nation address, Putin also warned the West of supporting Ukraine with long-range weapons and said the more West arms Ukraine, the more Russia will take the fight away from its borders. 

The Guardian quoted him as saying: "We had no doubt everything was prepared [for the invasion of Donbas]. All of this was completely against the documents accepted by the UN security council. I would like to repeat, they started the war, and we used force in order to stop it."


Donbas is the eastern region of Ukraine, comprising the provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk. Within weeks of Putin ordering the Russian invasion of Ukraine, dubbed as a "special military operation", the Russians changed their objectives and refocussed themselves on Donbas region.

Just a day after US President Joe Biden went to Ukrainian capital Kyiv to hold talks with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Putin in his speech also termed Ukrainians as "hostages of their Western masters", according to The Guardian. He said Zelenskyy's government is serving foreign powers. 

Putin also said that Ukrainian people had become "hostages of their Western masters" who occupied the country in political, economic, and military terms, and that Zelenskyy's "regime is not serving their national interest. They are serving the interests of foreign powers", according to The Guardian.


This is Putin's first state-of-the-nation address in two years. Many anticipate will set the tone for the year ahead and shed light on how the Kremlin sees its bogged-down war in Ukraine. While the Constitution mandates that the president deliver the speech annually, Putin never gave one in 2022 as his troops rolled into Ukraine and suffered repeated setbacks. Now the address comes days before the war's first anniversary on Friday.

Political analyst Tatyana Stanovaya said the address "was expected to be very hawkish, aimed at defiantly breaking off relations with the West" 

In the wake of Biden's visit to Kyiv on Monday, "additional edits can be made to make it even harsher".

Justidying the Russian invasion of Ukraine in his speech, Putin also said that Russia was left with no choice other than defending itself. 

CNN quoted Putin as saying, "They did not leave us any other option for defending Russia and our people, other than the one we are forced to use today. In these circumstances, we have to take bold and immediate action. The people’s republics of Donbas have asked Russia for help."

Putin also thanked the four regions of Ukraine that he illegally annexed into Russia. The four regions are Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhi.

The Guardian quoted Putin as saying: "I would like to express a special gratitude to the citizens of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions. You yourself determined your future. You made your choice despite the threats of terror of the Nazis. Next to you there were military actions taking place, and you made the choice to be together with Russia. To be together with your motherland."


Putin also aimed at economic sanctions slapped on Russia and said the countries that slapped sanctions themselves suffered inflation. Prices have risen in many parts of the world since the Russian invasion of Ukraine as Russian oil supply has been disrupted and prices of goods have risen.

"The initiators of the sanctions are punishing themselves...They provoked a growth of prices in their own countries, the closures of factories, the collapse of energy sector, and they are telling their citizens that is the Russians who are to blame," said Putin, as per The Guardian.

(With AP inputs)