Putin Claims The West Gave Him No Choice But To Invade Ukraine

By Jason Hall

May 9, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin defended his country's ongoing invasion of Ukraine during his annual "Victory Day" speech commemorating Russia's triumph over Nazi Germany in World War II on Monday (May 9), claiming the West gave him no choice.

Putin said the West was "preparing for the invasion of our land, including Crimea," according to Reuters' translated version of the speech.

"In December last year, we proposed the conclusion of an agreement on security guarantees. Russia called on the West to enter an honest dialogue, in search of reasonable compromise solutions, to take each other’s interests into account. It was all in vain," Putin said. "NATO countries did not want to listen to us, meaning that they in fact had entirely different plans, and we saw this. Openly, preparations were under way for another punitive operation in Donbas, the invasion of our historical lands, including Crimea.
"In Kyiv, they announced the possible acquisition of nuclear weapons, the NATO bloc began actively taking military control of territories adjacent to ours. As such, an absolutely unacceptable threat to us was systematically created, and moreover directly on our borders."

On Sunday (May 8), Serhiy Haidai, the regional governor of Luhansk, confirmed on his Telegram channel that at least 60 people are feared dead following a Russian airstrike on a school being used as a shelter in eastern Ukraine.

The school, located in the village of Bilohorivka, initially caught fire after being struck on Saturday (May 7) afternoon.

Putin announced his country would conduct military operations in Eastern Ukraine during an NBC News translation of a speech addressing the Russian population in Moscow on February 24.

The announcement appeared to serve as the final action ahead of an attack by Putin and the Russian military, which the U.S. and European allies to the neighboring Ukraine have attempted to prevent from taking place through diplomatic discussions.

A Ukraine interior minister confirmed to NBC News via text message that "cruise and ballistic missile strikes" were already underway shortly after Putin's announcement.

NBC News correspondent Erin McLaughlin said explosions could be heard from her live shot in Kyiv, Ukraine's capital city, at 6:00 a.m. local time.

More than 1,000 protesters were reportedly arrested during anti-war protests throughout Russia amid President Putin's announcement to conduct military operations and ensuing attack on Ukraine, BNO News reported.

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