(NewsGlobal.com)- Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a speech this week that his goal is to “acquire additional territory,” according to a report by The Kyiv Independent, a Ukrainian news site covering the Russian invasion.
The Russian president remarked at an exhibition honoring Peter the Great, who ruled Russia from 1682 until 1725.
President Putin linked himself to the historical figure and drew parallels between their efforts to regain control of what they consider Russian territory. The remarks were made Thursday during an event commemorating the 350th anniversary of the birth of the former Russian tsar.
In the televised conversation, Putin stated that Peter the Great fought the Great Northern War for 21 years. He seized something from Sweden; therefore, it appears he was at war with them. But he merely returned what was Russia’s.
Putin made his plans to develop and strengthen his nation in the same speech, which aired on national television.
According to Putin, he left it to regain Russia’s strength. If they work from the premise that these fundamental principles underlie their existence, they will unquestionably be successful in completing the tasks at hand.
The words seem to imply that Russia’s objective in the eastern Donbas region of Ukraine is to allow the separatist territories to become a part of its territory rather than to seek the “independence” of those regions.
By approving the independence of the rebel areas of Luhansk and Donetsk in February, Putin made his first move toward invading Ukraine.
The “Donetsk People’s Republic” and the “Luhansk People’s Republic” were declared independent from Ukraine by the Russian president through the signing of a decree, which served as justification for his so-called “special military operation” in Ukraine. Initially presenting his invasion as a peacekeeping expedition, Putin sketched out intentions to support the two secessionist areas.
Putin’s most recent remarks may also imply a return to central Ukraine. The first attack on the Ukrainian capital city in about a month occurred last weekend when four cruise missiles were fired toward Kyiv by Russian forces.
Recent gains in the Donbas region and upcoming referendums on annexing the Kherson region into Russia, as well as recent warnings from U.S. intelligence officials that Russia is ready for a “prolonged assault” on Ukraine, could indicate that the president’s intentions are not really to establish independence from disputed territories in Ukraine.
Instead, Russia might be getting ready to organize other referendums in these formerly “autonomous” territories to annex them in Putin’s empire.