Russian leader Putin warns of 'traitors' in speech, calls for self-purification
Vladimir Putin called for a "self-purification" to rid Russia of those who worked against the nation.
During a televised speech on Wednesday, he said that Russians are always capable of recognizing patriots from traitors, saying they would spit them out like a gnat that accidentally flew into their mouths. He accused the West of cultivating a "fifth column" of Russians seeking civil unrest.
Adding that such a natural and necessary purification of society would only strengthen Russia, he said, "And there is only one aim, I have already mentioned that-to destroy Russia."
According to Putin, he's not judgeing those with villas in Miami or the French Riviera or Russians with "a one-size-fits-all mentality" who stood 'mentally' with Russia following the invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.
“The problem does not lie in this, but I repeat, the fact that many of these people inherently, mentally, live elsewhere and not here with us, with our people, with Russia,” Putin said, adding, “This is, in their opinion … a belonging to the higher caste, the higher race,” according to a translation.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reiterated Putin's remarks on Thursday and said "many people" are working to undermine the country.
Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, spoke with Putin on Thursday about the latest developments in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, as well as the humanitarian situation in the country.
17 March 2022