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World faces most dangerous decade since WWII: Putin

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LONDON: President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that the world faced the most dangerous decade since World War Two, accusing what he cast as a declining West of engaging in nuclear blackmail against Russia.

Putin said he had no regrets about sending troops into Ukraine, and accused the West of inciting the war and playing a “dangerous, bloody and dirty” geopolitical game that was sowing chaos across the world.

“The historical period of the West’s undivided dominance over world affairs is coming to an end,” Putin, Russia’s paramount leader, told the Valdai Discussion Club, a gathering of Russian specialists.

“We are standing at a historical frontier: Ahead is probably the most dangerous, unpredictable and, at the same time, important decade since the end of World War Two.” Though he laid into the West, Putin appeared remarkably relaxed as he was questioned about the prospects for nuclear war and how he felt about Russian soldiers killed in the Ukraine war, which he cast “partly” as a civil war.

Putin blamed the West for stoking nuclear tensions, citing remarks by former British Prime Minister Liz Truss about her readiness to use London’s nuclear deterrent if the circumstances demanded it.

Putin also repeated an assertion that Ukraine could detonate a “dirty bomb” laced with radioactive material to frame Moscow and dismissed as false Kyiv’s suggestion that the allegation might mean Russia plans to detonate such a device itself.

“We don’t need to do that. There would be no sense whatsoever in doing that,” Putin said, adding that the Kremlin had responded to what it felt was nuclear blackmail by the West.

Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb 24, triggering the biggest confrontation with the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis in the depths of the Cold War when the Soviet Union and the United States came closest to nuclear war.

Published in Dawn, October 28th, 2022

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