WANTS TO "TEAR APART" RUSSIA - PUTIN SAYS
MOSCOW, DECEMBER 26, 2022, MONDAY: President Vladimir Putin has blasted the West for trying to "tear apart" Russia and said in an interview aired on national television that his offensive in Ukraine aimed to " unite the Russian people ".
Meanwhile in Kyiv, a day after deadly shelling in southern Ukraine, residents held Christmas services on Sunday, defying Russian spiritual leaders who celebrate it on January 07, 2023.
Putin has used the concept of " HISTORICAL RUSSIA " to argue that Ukrainians and Russians are one people - undermining Kyiv's sovereignty and justifying his 10-month offensive in Ukraine.
He said Russia's geopolitical opponents (were) aiming to tear apart Russia, the historical Russia."
" But our goal is different: it's to unite the Russian people, " he said.
Putin declared his government was acting " in the right direction...protecting our national interests, the interests of our citizens, of our people."
He repeated that Moscow was ready to negotiate and appeared unfazed when asked about the new air defence system the United States will deliver to Ukraine.
" Of course we will destroy it, 100 percent!" Putin said, referring to the Patriot missile battery promised to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
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