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Putin blames ‘third’ countries for Ukraine war in address

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Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a speech and gave awards during a gathering of military personnel on Wednesday. Photo by Kremlin Pool/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/5d0ac7fe62d0356ddc6dcaf0c9d21104/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a speech and gave awards during a gathering of military personnel on Wednesday. Photo by Kremlin Pool/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 21 (UPI) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said his county is not to blame for the war in Ukraine during a televised address to military leaders on Wednesday.

“What is happening is of course a tragedy, our common tragedy, but it is not a result of our policy,” Putin said, insisting the war was “the result of the policy of third countries… who have always striven for this, the disintegration of the Russian world.”

Putin referred to Ukraine as a “brotherly nation,” and called Russian forces fighting there “heroes.”

Putin made reference to Russia’s nuclear arsenal during his speech, saying that Saramat hypersonic nuclear-capable missile, known as “Satan II,” could soon be ready for deployment.

“We will continue to develop and strengthen our armed forces, taking into account potential military threats and risks,” he said.

Russian Defense Committee Chairman Aleksey Zhuravlyov previously used the Saramat missile as a threat against the west.

“If the United States threatens our state, it’s good: here is the Sarmat for you, and there will be nuclear ashes from you if you think that Russia should not exist. And Finland says that it is at one with the USA. Well, get in line,” he told the channel Russia 1 in May.

Putin said the partial mobilization he ordered in September “revealed certain problems” that he said “should be promptly addressed.”

“It is clear that the reaction of people who see problems — and there are always problems in such major, complex work, can be emotional,” he said.

“I ask the Ministry of Defense to be attentive to all civilian initiatives, including taking into account criticism and responding correctly, in a timely manner.”

Putin’s speech comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky travels to Washington, D.C., in his first trip outside of the country since the full scale invasion in February.

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