War between Russia and Ukraine: Vladimir Putin refers to further invasions in his speech

In a speech three months after Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin appeared to be leaving the door open for further Russian territorial expansion.

In tribute to the founder of St. Petersburg on the 350th anniversary of his birth, Putin drew parallels between the actions of Peter the Great and Russia’s contemporary ambitions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin hinted at more attempts to conquer land.Credit:AP

He opened the speech by discussing Peter’s conquest of the Baltic coast during Russia’s 18th-century conflict with Sweden.

When Peter founded the new capital, “no European country recognized it as Russia. Everyone recognized it as Sweden,” Putin said. He added: “What was… [Peter] doing? Take back and strengthen. That’s what he did. And it seems it fell on us to take back and strengthen as well.”

‘It’s impossible – Do you understand? — impossible to build a fence around a country like Russia. And we don’t plan to build that fence,” the Russian leader said.

The Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia were invaded and annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940, following Nazi Germany’s betrayal of an agreement with Moscow to divide the area between Berlin and Moscow, known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.

The countries in the Baltic region, which broke away from the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, are now members of NATO.

As Russian troops continued to storm the eastern Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk on Thursday, Putin in vehement television commentary compared Peter’s campaign to the task ahead of Russia today.

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