Russian President Vladimir Putin said the West is trying to dictate the actions of other nations, in a “dangerous, bloody and dirty” game.
Putin made the comments during a lengthy speech at a conference near Moscow on Thursday, where he also denied having any intention of using nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
He said it was pointless for Russia to strike Ukraine with nuclear weapons, saying “there is no point in that, neither political nor military.”
The Russian president claimed an earlier warning of his readiness to use “all means available to protect Russia” didn’t amount to nuclear saber-rattling but was merely a response to Western statements about their possible use of nuclear weapons.
He particularly mentioned former British Prime Minister Liz Truss saying in August that she would be ready to use nuclear weapons if she became Britain’s prime minister, a remark which Putin said worried the Kremlin.
“What were we supposed to think?” Putin said. “We saw that as a coordinated position, an attempt to blackmail us.”
Putin, who sent his troops into Ukraine on 24 February, has cast Western support for Ukraine as part of broad efforts to enforce their will upon others through a rules-based world order.
He argued that the world has reached a turning point, when “the West is no longer able to dictate its will to humankind but still tries to do it, and the majority of nations no longer want to tolerate it.”
The Russian leader claimed that the Western policies will foment more chaos, adding that “he who sows the wind will reap the whirlwind.”
Putin claimed that “humankind now faces a choice: accumulate a load of problems that will inevitably crush us all or try to find solutions that may not be ideal but could work and could make the world more stable and secure.”
Without offering evidence, the Russian leader repeated Moscow’s unproven allegation that Ukraine was plotting a false flag attack involving a radioactive dirty bomb it would try to pin on Russia.
Ukraine has strongly rejected the claim, and its Western allies have dismissed it as “transparently false.” Ukraine argued Russia might be making the unfounded allegation to serve as a cover for its own possible plot to detonate a dirty bomb.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters on Thursday that the U.S. has still not seen anything to indicate that Putin has decided to use a dirty bomb.
Putin said he personally ordered Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to call his foreign counterparts to tell them about the purported plot. He maintained that Russia knows the Ukrainian facilities working on the project.