As a Vietnam era veteran and a Police Officer with over 20 years experience, I have to say Putin is correct – UNLESS WE PULL OUR HEADS OUT OF OUT BUTTS and take back our Country from the progressives who want to see America neutralized.
President Vladimir Putin has portrayed Russia as an invincible nation beset by foreign foes intent on weakening and even destroying it, in a combative speech that suggested he would not bow to Western pressure over the Ukraine crisis.
In an annual state-of-the-nation address, Mr Putin claimed the West had wanted to see his country dissolve in bloody chaos like Yugoslavia, but would suffer defeat like Adolf Hitler’s Germany if it challenged Russia militarily.
He also said the West used the Ukraine conflict and his country’s “reunification” with Crimea as pretexts to slap sanctions on a resurgent Russia, and suggested the sharp fall in the rouble’s value was also part of foreign scheming against Moscow
In Ukraine, meanwhile, President Petro Poroshenko announced that government forces would halt fighting in eastern regions next Tuesday, as long as Russian-backed separatists did the same. A longer ceasefire could follow if the first day is successful.
Mr Putin spoke on Thursday in the Kremlin before members of Russia’s parliament as, far to the south in Chechnya, at least 10 police officers and 10 rebels were killed in the worst recent fighting in the region.
Denouncing the West for backing Ukraine’s revolution, Mr Putin said he had taken control of Crimea because it had “invaluable civilisational and even sacred meaning for Russia, like the Temple Mount in Jerusalem for followers of Islam and Judaism.”
It was in Crimea that Prince Vladimir the Great was baptised in 988, accepting Christianity as the faith of the eastern Slavs, and hundreds of thousands of Russian soldiers died there in the Crimean and second World Wars. Mr Putin said that if the “Crimean spring” had not taken place, the West “would have come up with another reason to contain Russia’s growing capabilities”.
“The policy of containment was not invented yesterday … every time anyone just thinks that Russia has become strong and independent, such instruments are applied immediately.”
“There is no doubt they would have loved to see the Yugoslavia scenario of collapse and dismemberment for us – with all the tragic consequences it would have for the peoples of Russia. This has not happened. We did not allow it,” Mr Putin said.
“Hitler also failed when, with his hateful ideas, he was going to destroy Russia, throw us back behind the Urals. Everyone should remember how it ended.”
In his hour-long speech, Mr Putin emphasised that Russia did not seek confrontation or isolation, but said it would not be intimidated into changing course, and would continue to strengthen and to seek out new international partners.
Sinking oil prices, uncertainty caused by the Ukraine crisis and a tightening sanctions regime on Russia are starting to take their toll on its economy, accelerating capital flight and wiping nearly 40 percent off the rouble’s value.
Mr Putin ordered Russia’s government and central bank to take tough action against currency “speculators”, while promising those who returned their capital to Russia that no questions would be asked by the police or tax authorities.
Proposing his “amnesty”, Mr Putin said: “We all understand that the origins of money can be different, that it was earned and obtained in various ways, but I am confident that the offshore page in our economy’s history … should be closed.”
“The difficulties we are facing also create new possibilities for us,” he added.
“We are ready to meet any challenge of the times, and win.”