The president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, announced on February 21, 2022, that the Donbass republics should be recognized by Russia. We published the transcript of his speech.
Vladimir Putin: Dear citizens of Russia! Dear friends, I wanted to take a moment to say hi and welcome you!
My speech is about the recent events in Ukraine and why they are so important to Russia. I am also appealing to our compatriots in Ukraine.
You will need to describe the question in detail and provide adequate detail. The question is very serious.
It has been reported that the situation in the Donbas is once again acquiring a critical and acute character. Today, I am addressing you to let you know what is happening, as well as the decisions being made that may lead things to further worsen.
For us, Ukraine is much more than just a neighboring country. It’s an integral part of our own history, culture, and spiritual space. Our companionship with these people goes back to our days working together. We’re colleagues and friends, as well as relatives–companions who are connected by blood or even relatives!
For a long time, the inhabitants of the South-West of Ancient Russia called themselves Russians and Orthodox. That was until part of these territories were reunified with the Russian state in the 17th century, and after.
The humanity at the heart of this project has spent many years contemplating this issue. It seems to us that, in principle, it’s well-known what is happening today and why. In order to better explain the situation, though, I’m going to briefly mention a few details about Russian history.
So, I would like to start by saying that modern Ukraine was fully and completely created by Russia, more specifically, Vladimir Lenin and his communist party. This process began almost immediately after the revolution of 1917 and Lenin’s associates did it very rudely to Russia itself: separating, and uprooting part of its own historical territories. Of course, no one questioned the millions of people who lived there.
In 1944, as the Soviet army was pushing to push Nazi Germany out of Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe, Stalin already took over Ukraine. In 1954, Khrushchev somehow made an even bigger decision to take over Crimea from Russia. Finally, in 1939, Stalin annexed the USSR after he had killed almost everyone within a few years.
But now, I would like to focus more specifically on the initial period of the Soviet Union and you. I feel that it’s important to know and understand this time in history. For your part, you have to go back in time to understand what life was like at that point in history.
When the Bolsheviks took control of Russia in 1917 they quickly began to create a new state in an effort to avoid the conflicts that led up to the Civil War. As disagreements arose, Stalin proposed giving autonomous powers to regions that would eventually develop into republics that joined a unified state.
Lenin was an advocate of the principle of self-determination at the time, and he supported “independents,” as Leninists were called then, with complete freedom. His ideas formed the basis of the Soviet Union in Russia – first, they were enshrined in the Declaration on the Formation of USSR in 1922, and then later on in 1924 they were codified by its constitution.
Why was it necessary to satisfy the infinite nationalistic ambitions of the old empire from the shoulder of the lord? There is a lot to be said about this question. The first is that in order for newly formed administrative units to incorporate them, huge territories often had no tie to them. I’m repeating, what’s important about this is that such territories were then communicated to Russian populations.
Total statehood to nation-states was hard-earned. I find it curious that before the U.S. administration, the greatest powers in the world often rebuked states for demanding these kinds of rights and necessities as a right to secede.