Vladimir Putin

President of Russia (1999–2008, 2012–present)

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin (born 7 October 1952) is a Russian politician and former intelligence officer who is the president of Russia, a position he has held since 2012, and previously from 2000 until 2008. Putin is the second-longest current serving European president after Alexander Lukashenko of neighbouring Belarus.

We will not allow the past to drag us down and stop us from moving ahead. We understand where we should move.
See also New Year Address by the President of Russia


Comrade Wolf knows who to eat, as the saying goes. It knows who to eat and is not about to listen to anyone. (On the U.S., whose military budget is 25 times bigger than Russia's)
People are always teaching us democracy but the people who teach us democracy don't want to learn it themselves.
It's extremely dangerous trying to resolve political problems outside the framework of the law.
There is no one to talk to since Mahatma Gandhi died.
This is our final choice, and we have no way back. There can be no return to what we used to have before.
You must obey the law, always, not only when they grab you...
Why should we talk to people who are child-killers? No one has a moral right to tell us to talk to child-killers.
No matter how targeted the strikes or how sophisticated the weapons, civilian casualties are inevitable, including the elderly and children...We must stop using the language of force and return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement.
I have worked like a galley slave throughout these eight years, morning till night, and I have given all I could to this work. I am happy with the results.
I bow my head to the victims of terrorism.
I am highly impressed of the courage of New York residents. The great city and the great American nation are to win!
If a fight is inevitable, go and fight first.
[President Putin has] "achieved great respect in Russia. ... he is very popular because of what he's done. And he did it by the law of Russia, which was of course, two terms, and then he became prime minister, and then went back to being president for two more.... Putin is the most mature statesman in the whole world right now. He... sees the world as needing balance... not...dominated by the United States." Oliver Stone, (29 October 2018)
Russia is in favor of a multipolar world, a democratic world order, strengthening the system of international law, and for developing a legal system in which any small country, even a very small country, can feel itself secure, as if behind a stone wall.










  • Ukraine is an independent, sovereign state and will choose its own path to peace and security. . . . Such a conversation would be entirely appropriate and entirely possible. I certainly don’t see there being anything particularly tricky here, anything that need or that could cast a shadow over relations between Russia and Ukraine.
    • About Ukraine seeking membership in Nato, after the Nato–Russia Council was created at the Nato summit in Rome, May 28, 2002, quoted in "Russia Must Also Hit the Reset Button", Atlantic Council, 1 April 2009
  • If you are determined to become a complete Islamic radical and are ready to undergo circumcision, then I invite you to Moscow. We are multi-confessional. We have experts in this sphere as well. I will recommend to conduct the operation so that nothing on you will grow again.


  • Two weeks later they still have not been found. The question is, where is Saddam Hussein? Where are those weapons of mass destruction, if they were ever in existence? Is Saddam Hussein in a bunker sitting on cases containing weapons of mass destruction, preparing to blow the whole place up?
    • In a Press conference, regarding the weapon of mass destruction of Iraq. (May 1, 2003)[1]
  • Надо исполнять закон всегда, а не только тогда, когда схватили за одно место.
    • Translation: You must obey the law, always, not only when they grab you by your special place.
    • Interview, 4 November 2003


  • Why don't you meet Osama bin Laden, invite him to Brussels or to the White House and engage in talks, ask him what he wants and give it to him so he leaves you in peace? You find it possible to set some limitations in your dealings with these bastards, so why should we talk to people who are child-killers? No one has a moral right to tell us to talk to childkillers.
  • Понятно, что надо больше платить, это самый простой вариант, не всегда возможный,(но простой) но способов решения проблемы много
    • Translation: It is clear that we have to pay more, it is the simple option, not always affordable, ("but simple," said in actual recording) but the ways to solve the problem are many.
    • On human capital flight, in address to Committee for Education, Science and Technology (26 October 2004).
  • The democratic choice Russian people made in the early 90's is final.
    • Interview in Brazil for space talks, (22 November 2004).
  • It's extremely dangerous trying to resolve political problems outside the framework of the law — first the ‘Rose Revolution', then they'll think up something like blue. [word play here: "rose" having the colloquial sense of "lesbian" in modern Russian, and "blue" meaning "gay"]


  • Above all, we should acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century. As for the Russian nation, it became a genuine drama. Tens of millions of our co-citizens and compatriots found themselves outside Russian territory. Moreover, the epidemic of disintegration infected Russia itself.
    • Annual Address to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation,” President of Russia
    • (Прежде всего следует признать, что крушение Советского Союза было крупнейшей геополитической катастрофой века. Для российского же народа оно стало настоящей драмой. Десятки миллионов наших сограждан и соотечественников оказались за пределами российской территории. Эпидемия распада к тому же перекинулась на саму Россию.)
  • Russia has made its choice in favor of democracy. Fourteen years ago, independently, without any pressure from outside, it made that decision in the interests of itself and interests of its people — of its citizens. This is our final choice, and we have no way back. There can be no return to what we used to have before. And the guarantee for this is the choice of the Russian people, themselves. No, guarantees from outside cannot be provided. This is impossible. It would be impossible for Russia today. Any kind of turn towards totalitarianism for Russia would be impossible, due to the condition of the Russian society.
  • People in Russia say that those who do not regret the collapse of the Soviet Union have no heart, and those that do regret it have no brain. We do not regret this, we simply state the fact and know that we need to look ahead, not backwards. We will not allow the past to drag us down and stop us from moving ahead. We understand where we should move. But we must act based on a clear understanding of what happened..
    • Interview with German television channel ARD and ZDF, May 2005. Kremlin, RU, (May 2005)
  • I will recall once more Russia's most recent history.
    Above all, we should acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century. As for the Russian nation, it became a genuine drama. Tens of millions of our co-citizens and compatriots found themselves outside Russian territory. Moreover, the epidemic of disintegration infected Russia itself.
    Individual savings were depreciated, and old ideals destroyed. Many institutions were disbanded or reformed carelessly. Terrorist intervention and the Khasavyurt capitulation that followed damaged the country's integrity. Oligarchic groups — possessing absolute control over information channels — served exclusively their own corporate interests. Mass poverty began to be seen as the norm. And all this was happening against the backdrop of a dramatic economic downturn, unstable finances, and the paralysis of the social sphere.
    Many thought or seemed to think at the time that our young democracy was not a continuation of Russian statehood, but its ultimate collapse, the prolonged agony of the Soviet system.
    But they were mistaken.
    That was precisely the period when the significant developments took place in Russia. Our society was generating not only the energy of self-preservation, but also the will for a new and free life.
  • But if the U.S. were to leave and abandon Iraq without establishing the grounds for a united and sovereign country, that would definitely be a second mistake.
    • After saying the US shouldn't have gone into Iraq in the first place
    • CBS News (May 2005)
  • I realise that 2008 will be an important test for Russia, and not an easy one. At the same time, the Constitution of the Russian Federation states that the President, the head of state, is elected for four years through direct secret ballot and cannot stay in office for more than two consecutive terms.
    I am not indifferent of course to the question of who will take in their hands the destiny of the country I have devoted my life to serving. But if each successive head of state were to change the Constitution to suit them, we would soon find ourselves without a state at all. I think that Russia's different political forces are sufficiently mature to realise their responsibility to the people of the Russian Federation. In any case, the person who receives the votes of the majority of Russian citizens will become the President of the country.
    • Answering the question of Dutch TV station "Nederland 1" and Dutch newspaper "NRC Handelsblad", "Can you imagine a situation in which you would decide to remain in office for a third term?", Putin said: [2]


  • Russia does not want confrontation of any kind. And we will not take part in any kind of "holy alliance".
  • I stress that we unambiguously support strengthening the non-proliferation regime, without any exceptions, on the basis of international law.
  • Russia must realise its full potential in high-tech sectors such as modern energy technology, transport and communications, space and aircraft building.
  • He raped 10 women. I never expected it from him. He surprised all of us.
  • I see that not everyone in the West has understood that the Soviet Union has disappeared from the political map of the world and that a new country has emerged with new humanist and ideological principles at the foundation of its existence.
  • Just as one must respect our interests since almost 17 million ethnic Russians live in Ukraine and half of all Ukrainian families have ties with the Russian Federation.
    • interview with German ZDF TV, July 13, 2006.[3]
  • We certainly would not want to have the same kind of democracy that they have in Iraq, quite honestly.
    • July 17, 2006, during the St. Petersburg Group of Eight summit Putin said in reply to George W. Bush, who said he hopes Russia will follow Iraq in turning to democracy
    • [4] [5]
  • If there is no possibility or, to put it in plain terms, if there is no money... What can you do? You can't go to a store, you can't buy anything, either a cannon, or a missile, or a medicine. For this reason the economy is at the basis of everything. In the beginning it was Karl Marx and then Freud and others...
  • Their [U.S.] defense budget in absolute figures is almost 25 times bigger than Russia's. This is what in defense is referred to as "their home — their fortress". And good for them, I say. Well done!
  • Товарищ волк знает, кого кушать. Кушает, и никого не слушает, и слушать, судя по всему, не собирается.
    • Translation: Comrade wolf knows who to eat. He eats without listening to anybody and it seems he is not ever going to listen.
    • On the U.S., whose military budget is 25 times bigger than Russia's; annual presidential address to the Federal Senate, 10 May 2006
  • But this means that we also need to build our home and make it strong and well protected. We see, after all, what is going on in the world. "The Comrade Wolf knows whom to eat, as the saying goes. It knows whom to eat and is not about to listen to anyone, it seems."


  • I think it is obvious that NATO expansion does not have any relation with the modernization of the alliance itself or with ensuring security in Europe. On the contrary, it represents a serious provocation that reduces the level of mutual trust. And we have the right to ask: against whom is this expansion intended? And what happened to the assurances our western partners made after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact? Where are those declarations today? No one even remembers them. But I will allow myself to remind this audience what was said. I would like to quote the speech of NATO General Secretary Mr. Woerner in Brussels on 17 May 1990. He said at the time that: “the fact that we are ready not to place a NATO army outside of German territory gives the Soviet Union a firm security guarantee.” Where are these guarantees?
  • A superpower is a cold war term. When people today say that Russia aspires to have this status, I interpret it in the following way: they want to undermine trust in Russia, to portray Russia as frightening, and create some kind of image of an enemy. … Russia is in favor of a multipolar world, a democratic world order, strengthening the system of international law, and for developing a legal system in which any small country, even a very small country, can feel itself secure, as if behind a stone wall. … Russia is ready to become part of this multipolar world and guarantee that the international community observes these rules. And not as a superpower with special rights, but rather as an equal among equals.
  • We still have a great amount of work to do in social development, including resolving one of the biggest challenges we face in this area, namely, reducing the gap between high-income earners and people, citizens of our country, who are still living on very modest means indeed. But we cannot, of course, adopt the solution used 80 years ago and simply confiscate the riches of some to redistribute among others. We will use completely different means to resolve this problem, namely, we will ensure good economic growth.
  • I think there are things of which I and the people who have worked with me can feel deservedly proud. They include restoring Russia's territorial integrity, strengthening the state, progress towards establishing a multiparty system, strengthening the parliamentary system, restoring the Armed Forces' potential and, of course, developing the economy. As you know, our economy has been growing by 6.9 percent a year on average over this time, and our GDP has increased by 7.7 percent over the first four months of this year alone.
    When I began my work in the year 2000, 30 percent of our population was living below the poverty line. There has been a two-fold drop in the number of people living below the poverty line since then and the figure today is around 15 percent. By 2009-2010, we will bring this figure down to 10 percent, and this will bring us in line with the European average.
    We had enormous debts, simply catastrophic for our economy, but we have paid them off in full now. Not only have we paid our debts, but we now have the best foreign debt to GDP ratio in Europe. Our gold and currency reserve figures are well known: in 2000, they stood at just $12 billion and we had a debt of more than 100 percent of GDP, but now we have the third-biggest gold and currency reserves in the world and they have increased by $90 billion over the first four months of this year alone.
  • During the 1990s and even in 2000-2001, we had massive capital flight from Russia with $15 billion, $20 billion or $25 billion leaving the country every year. Last year we reversed this situation for the first time and had capital inflow of $41 billion. We have already had capital inflow of $40 billion over the first four months of this year. Russia's stock market capitalisation showed immense growth last year and increased by more than 50 percent. This is one of the best results in the world, perhaps even the best. Our economy was near the bottom of the list of world economies in terms of size but today it has climbed to ninth place and in some areas has even overtaken some of the other G8 countries' economies. This means that today we are able to tackle social problems. Real incomes are growing by around 12 percent a year. Real income growth over the first four months of this year came to just over 18 percent, while wages rose by 11-12 percent.
    Looking at the problems we have yet to resolve, one of the biggest is the huge income gap between the people at the top and the bottom of the scale. Combating poverty is obviously one of our top priorities in the immediate term and we still have to do a lot to improve our pension system too because the correlation between pensions and the average wage is still lower here than in Europe. The gap between incomes at the top and bottom end of the scale is still high here – a 15.6-15.7-fold difference. This is less than in the United States today (they have a figure of 15.9) but more than in the UK or Italy (where they have 13.6-13.7). But this remains a big gap for us and fighting poverty is one of our biggest priorities.
  • People are always teaching us democracy but the people who teach us democracy don't want to learn it themselves.
    • MUNICH, February 10, 2007. [10]
  • После смерти Махатмы Ганди поговорить не с кем.
    • Translation: There is no one to talk to since Mahatma Gandhi died.
    • Responding to a question "Former Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder called you a 'pure democrat'. Do you consider yourself such?" June 4, 2007, [11]
  • According to the statistics, up to 17 million ethnic Russians live in Ukraine, while some four million Ukrainians live in Russia, whether permanently or temporarily.
    • Live with President Vladimir Putin, October 18, 2007.[12]
  • Of Ukraine’s 45 million people, 17 million are ethnic Russians, and this is only according to official statistics. Almost 100 percent of people there consider Russian their native language, well, 80 percent perhaps.
    • Interview with Time Magazine, December 19, 2007.[13]
  • There are 17 million ethnic Russians there, officially. Almost 100% of the people consider Russian as their mother tongue.
    • Interview with Time Magazine, December 19, 2007. [14]
    • There are actually 8.3 million ethnic Russians in Ukraine (17.3% of the population), and 29.3% of Ukrainians consider Russian their native language (2001 census).


  • Don't you know that Ukraine is not even a real country? Part of it is really East European, and part is really Russian.
    • In a meeting with US Ambassador William J. Burns at Novo-Ogaryovo, March 2008 (William J. Burns 2019, The Back Channel, P. 238)
  • But in Ukraine, one third are ethnic Russians. Out of forty five million people, in line with the official census, seventeen millions are Russians [actually 8.3M]. There are regions, where only the Russian population lives, for instance, in the Crimea. 90% are Russians [actually 59%]. Generally speaking, Ukraine is a very complicated state. Ukraine, in the form it currently exists, was created in the Soviet times, it received its territories from Polandafter the Second World war, from Czechoslovakia, from Romania – and at present not all the problems have been solved as yet in the border region with Romania in the Black Sea. Then, it received huge territories from Russia in the east and south of the country. It is a complicated state formation. If we introduce into it NATO problems, other problems, it may put the state on the verge of its existence. Complicated internal political problems are taking place there. We should act also very-very carefully. We do not have any right to veto, and, probably, we do not pretend to have. But I want that all of us, when deciding such issues, realize that we have there our interests as well. Well, seventeen million Russians currently live in Ukraine. Who may state that we do not have any interests there? South, the south of Ukraine, completely, there are only Russians.
    • In a speech at the NATO Bucharest summit, April 2, 2008 [16]
  • You do understand, George, that Ukraine is not even a state. What is Ukraine? Part of its territories is Eastern Europe, but the greater part is a gift from us. (Ты же понимаешь, Джордж, что Украина — это даже не государство! Что такое Украина? Часть ее территорий — это Восточная Европа, а часть, и значительная, подарена нами!)
    • According to the same source, “and then he very transparently hinted that if Ukraine was still admitted to NATO, this state would simply cease to exist, that is, in fact, he threatened that Russia could start the rejection of the Crimea and Eastern Ukraine.” (И тут он очень прозрачно намекнул, что если Украину все же примут в НАТО, это государство просто прекратит существование. То есть фактически он пригрозил, что Россия может начать отторжение Крыма и Восточной Украины.)
    • Speaking to George W. Bush at the NATO Bucharest Summit, April 4, 2008.[17] Originally reported in Kommersant.ru based on an unidentified source.
  • At least the state figure should have a head.
  • Crimea is not a disputed territory. There has been no ethnic conflict there, unlike the conflict between South Ossetia and Georgia. Russia has long recognized the borders of modern-day Ukraine. On the whole, we have completed our talks on borders. The issue of demarcation still stands, but this is just a technicality. (Крым не является никакой спорной территорией. Там не было никакого этнического конфликта, в отличие от конфликта между Южной Осетией и Грузией. И Россия давно признала границы сегодняшней Украины. Мы, по сути, закончили в общем и целом наши переговоры по границе. Речь идет о демаркации, но это уже технические дела.)
  • I have worked like a galley slave throughout these eight years, morning till night, and I have given all I could to this work. I am happy with the results.
  • They [Georgian military forces] launched their attacks at 23:30 [on August 7]. I learned about it the following morning. I spoke to Bush. He said 'No one wants war.' We expected something would happen, I met him again at the stadium. I can't tell you in detail the content of the conversation, but I had the feeling that his administration wouldn't do anything about stopping the conflict, It's a court which makes a king. Maybe the court thought the king shouldn't intervene.
    • Speaking to western journalists and academics in Sochi for the first time since the Georgia crisis began. (September 2008)[20]
  • Enemies are right in front of you, you are at war with them, then you make an armistice with them, and all is clear. A traitor must be destroyed, crushed.
    • In 2001, speaking to journalist Aleksoi Venediktov, to whom he added “You know, Aleksei, you are not a traitor. You are an enemy.” David Remnick, “Echo in the Dark,” in The New Yorker, September 22, 2008.
  • But why only by one part?


  • [Anton Denikin, in his diary] “has a discussion there about Great and Little Russia, Ukraine. He says that no one should be allowed to interfere in relations between us; this has always been only Russia’s business.” (Обязательно прочитайте! Там у него есть рассуждения о большой и малой России, Украине. Он говорит, что никому не должно быть позволено вмешиваться в отношения между нами, это всегда было делом самой России!)[21]
  • Russia has always respected the bravery and heroism of the Polish people, soldiers and officers, who stood up first against Nazism in 1939.
    • On the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II, 1 September 2009 [22]
  • In order to preserve a balance, while we aren't planning to build a missile defence of our own, as it's very expensive and its efficiency is not quite clear yet, we have to develop offensive strike systems. They [U.S.] should give us all the information about the missile defence, and we will be ready then to provide some information about offensive weapons.
    • Putin said that arms control talks between Moscow and Washington were proceeding in a positive way. (December 2009)[23]




  • I am personally acquainted with Mr Gates, I have met him on several occasions. I think he is a very nice man and not a bad specialist. But Mr Gates, of course, was one of the leaders of the US Central Intelligence Agency and today he is defense secretary. If he also happens to be America's leading expert on democracy, I congratulate you.
  • He is profoundly wrong. Our country is run by the people of the Russian Federation through legitimately elected bodies of power and administration: through representative bodies (the parliament) and executive bodies (the president and the government of the Russian Federation)
    • When Larry King asked that Robert Gates is wrong or right about Russia that democracy has disappeared and the government being run by the security services. (February 2010) [25]
  • Now on our relationship with Ukraine: I will disagree when you said that if we had been separated we would not have been victorious in the war. We would have won in any case, because we are a country of winners. [. . .] This means, that the war was won—I don’t want to offend anyone—on account of the industrial resources of the RF. It’s a historical fact, it’s all in the documents.” (Теперь по поводу наших отношений с Украиной. Я позволю с вами не согласиться, когда вы сейчас сказали, что если бы мы были разделены, мы не победили бы в войне. Мы все равно победили бы, потому что мы - страна победителей. [. . .] Это значит, что война выиграна, не хочу никого обижать, за счет индустриальных ресурсов РФ. Это исторический факт, это все в документах.)[26]
  • Everything about this crime is now open and published, including a million of documents passed to our Polish partners. It was the leadership of the security services, NKVD, Beria, political leadership who, for decades of cynical lies, tried to bury the truth about Katyn massacre, but it would be just as incorrect to place all the guilt on Russian nation. We bow our heads to those who bravely met death here. In this ground lay Soviet citizens, burnt in the fire of the Stalinist repression of the 1930s; Polish officers, shot on secret orders; soldiers of the Red Army, executed by the Nazis. Above these graves, in front of people who come here to remember their relatives, it would be a hypocrisy to say: "let's forget everything". No, we must keep the memory of the past and, of course, we will do it, regardless of how bitter the truth is. On the road to unity we will have two principles: memory and truth. If things work this way then, soldiers of Katyn, it will be your main victory.
    • On the 70th anniversary of Katyn massacre where Soviet secret police executed 22,000 Polish officers captured after the Soviet Army invaded Poland in September 1939 [27] [28]


  • All the world saw him being killed, all bloodied. Is that democracy? And who did it? Drones, including American ones, delivered a strike on his motorcade. Then commandos, who were not supposed to be there, brought in so-called opposition and militants. And killed him without trial.
    Mr McCain fought in Vietnam. I think that he has enough blood of peaceful citizens on his hands. It must be impossible for him to live without these disgusting scenes anymore. Mr McCain was captured and they kept him not just in prison, but in a pit for several years, Anyone [in his place] would go nuts.


  • We are not for Assad, neither for his opponents, We want to achieve the situation where the violence ends and there won’t be large-scale civil war. How many of peaceful people were killed by so-called militants? Did you count? There are also hundreds of victims. What is happening in Libya, in Iraq? Did they become safer? Where are they heading? Nobody has an answer.


  • Atatürk must rolled in his grave because of the Turkish Islamisation. Terrorists in Syria escaped to Turkey! Got healthcare there! Its not impossible to comprpomise with the current Turkish leaders, but very hard..
    Maybe the current Turkish government wanted to show US and EU that "Yes, we are Islamisating the country. But we are modern Islamisators, we are civilised" Ronald Reagan once said something about the Nicaraguam dictator Somoza, "Yes, Somoza is lousy, but he is our lousy." And now Turkish government says "Yes, we are Islamisators, but we are helpful to the world." But if you are asking my opinion, this won't end good.
    "I will never be hungry again." Individualism lies at the core of the American identity while Russia has been a country of collectivism."
    • June 2013 regarding difference between USA and Russia, according to page 97 of 30 November 2019 book "The Long Telegram 2.0: A Neo-Kennanite Approach to Russia" by Peter Eltsov
  • Russians have different far lofty ambitions; more of a spiritual kind. It's more about your relationship with God.
    The U.S. is a very democratic state. There's no doubt about that. And it originally developed as a democratic state. When the first settlers set their foot on the continent, life forced them to forge a relationship and maintain a dialogue with each other to survive. That's why America was conceived as a fundamental democracy.
    [I]t's not by chance that Russia and the U.S. forge alliances in the most critical moments of modern history. That was the case in WWI and WWII. Even if there was fierce confrontation, our countries united against a common threat, which means there's something that unites us. There must be some fundamental interest which brings us together. That's something we need to focus on first. We need to be aware of our differences but focus on a positive agenda that can improve our cooperation.
  • Recently the British people suffered a huge loss. It was a tragedy next to his barracks on the streets of London. A violent assassination, a very brutal killing of a British serviceman. Clearly the opposition is not composed all of this but many of them are exactly the same as the ones who perpetrated the killing in London. If we equip these people, if we arm them what is going to control and verify? who is going to have these weapons?, including in Europe as well. So we call all our partners, before making this dangerous step, think about it very carefully.
    Not all G8 members take the view that chemical weapons were in fact used by the Syrian Army. Some actually agree with us that there is no proof We had disagreements that is true but I never felt lonely and Russia never was on its own in making a statement in regards of Syria.
  • In any case, I'd rather not deal with such questions, because anyway it's like shearing a pig – lots of screams but little wool.
  • Syria is already in the grips of a civil war, unfortunately enough, and Egypt is moving in that direction. We would like to see the Egyptian people avoid this fate.
    • On the situation in Egypt after the ousting of Egyptian president Morsi, 7 July 2013 [31] The Economic Times.co.uk
  • Sadly, it reminds me of World War II, when German fascist forces surrounded our cities, like Leningrad, and shelled population centres and their residents.
    • On the Ukrainian army's siege of pro-Russian rebel strongholds in Donetsk and Luhansk, 29 August 2014, [32], The Wall Street Journal
  • This was very unpleasant and surprising for me. We talk to them [the Americans], and we assume they are decent people, but he [John Kerry] is lying and he knows that he is lying. This is sad.
    • On the recent chemical attack in Syria, 5 September 2013 [33] USA Today.co.uk
  • It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord's blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.
    Recent events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so at a time of insufficient communication between our societies. Relations between us have passed through different stages. We stood against each other during the cold war. But we were also allies once, and defeated the Nazis together. The universal international organization – the United Nations – was then established to prevent such devastation from ever happening again.
    It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States. Is it in America's long-term interest? I doubt it. Millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force, cobbling coalitions together under the slogan "you're either with us or against us"...
    No matter how targeted the strikes or how sophisticated the weapons, civilian casualties are inevitable, including the elderly and children, whom the strikes are meant to protect...
    We must stop using the language of force and return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement.
  • Any minority’s right to be different must be respected, but the right of the majority must not be questioned.
    Without the values at the core of Christianity and other world religions, without moral norms that have been shaped over millennia, people will inevitably lose their human dignity.
    • 19 September 2013 during his speech at the Valdai forum


  • They act as they please: here and there, they use force against sovereign states, building coalitions based on the principle 'If you are not with us, you are against us.' To make this aggression look legitimate, they force the necessary resolutions from international organizations, and if for some reason this does not work, they simply ignore the UN Security Council and the UN overall.
  • It's difficult to talk to people who whisper even at home, afraid of Americans eavesdropping on them. It’s not a figure of speech, not a joke, I'm serious.
  • There are historians here, and people with their own views on our country’s history might argue with me, but I think that the Russian and Ukrainian peoples are practically one single people, no matter what others might say. (Вот люди, которые имеют свои собственные взгляды, здесь историков очень много, на историю нашей страны, могут поспорить, но мне кажется, что русский и украинский народ – это практически один народ, вот кто бы чего ни говорил.)
    • At the Seliger National Youth Forum, August 29, 2014.[34][35]
  • That is not the question. But if I wanted to, I could take Kyiv in two weeks.
    • When asked by European Commission President José Manuel Barroso whether Russian troops had crossed into eastern Ukraine, in a phone call reported on 2 September 2014.[36]
  • Speaking of the sanctions, they are not just a knee-jerk reaction on behalf of the United States or its allies to our position regarding the events and the coup in Ukraine, or even the so-called Crimean Spring. I’m sure that if these events had never happened – I want to point this out specifically for you as politicians sitting in this auditorium – if none of that had ever happened, they would have come up with some other excuse to try to contain Russia’s growing capabilities, affect our country in some way, or even take advantage of it.
    However, in this case I would like to speak about the most serious and sensitive issue: international security. Since 2002, after the US unilaterally pulled out of the ABM Treaty, which was absolutely a cornerstone of international security, a strategic balance of forces and stability, the US has been working relentlessly to create a global missile defence system, including in Europe. This poses a threat not only to Russia, but to the world as a whole – precisely due to the possible disruption of this strategic balance of forces.
  • You can do a lot more with weapons and politeness than just politeness.
  • Sometimes you don't know what is better: to talk with the governments of some States or directly with their American patrons and sponsors.
    • 6 December 2014, Владимир Путин @
  • We are guided by interests rather than feelings in dealing with our partners.


  • We in Russia have always considered Russians and Ukrainians to be one people. I still think so. (Мы всегда в России считали, что русские и украинцы – это один народ. Я так думаю и сейчас.)[37]
    • 18 March 2015 speech at a Moscow concert on the first anniversary of the annexation of the Crimea by the Russian Federation
  • As for some countries’ concerns about Russia's possible aggressive actions, I think that only an insane person and only in a dream can imagine that Russia would suddenly attack NATO. I think some countries are simply taking advantage of people’s fears with regard to Russia. They just want to play the role of front-line countries that should receive some supplementary military, economic, financial or some other aid. Therefore, it is pointless to support this idea; it is absolutely groundless. But some may be interested in fostering such fears. I can only make a conjecture.

    For example, the Americans do not want Russia's rapprochement with Europe. I am not asserting this, it is just a hypothesis. Let’s suppose that the United States would like to maintain its leadership in the Atlantic community. It needs an external threat, an external enemy to ensure this leadership. Iran is clearly not enough – this threat is not very scary or big enough. Who can be frightening? And then suddenly this crisis unfolds in Ukraine. Russia is forced to respond. Perhaps, it was engineered on purpose, I don’t know. But it was not our doing.

    Let me tell you something – there is no need to fear Russia. The world has changed so drastically that people with some common sense cannot even imagine such a large-scale military conflict today. We have other things to think about, I assure you.
    • 6 June 2015 interview to the Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera. [38]
  • Even 50 years ago, the streets of Leningrad taught me one thing: if a fight is inevitable, go and fight first.
    • 22 October 2015, Valdai Forum. [39]
  • We will find them anywhere on the planet and punish them. Our Air Force’s military work in Syria must not simply be continued. It must be intensified in such a way that the criminals understand that vengeance is inevitable.
    • 17 November 2015, vowing to retaliate against the Islamic militants responsible for the destruction of a Russian airliner over the Sinai on October 31, 2015. Tribune India,


  • If minorities prefer Sharia Law, then we advise them to go to those places where that’s the state law... We will not grant them special privileges, or try to change our laws to fit their desires, no matter how loud they yell ‘discrimination.’
  • I will not go into who is to blame for what now. I have always considered, and still do today, that Russians and Ukrainians are really one people. There are people who hold radical nationalist views both in Russia and in Ukraine. But overall, for the majority, we are one people, a people who share a common history and culture and are ethnically close. First we were divided, then we were set against each other, but we are not to blame for this. We must find our own way out of this situation. I am sure that common sense will prevail and that we will find a solution. [40] (Я сейчас не буду говорить про то, кто в чём виноват, но я считаю, как и считал, что русские и украинцы – это действительно один народ. У нас есть люди крайних националистических взглядов, как в России, так и в Украине. Но в целом в большинстве своём это один народ – народ одной истории, одной культуры, очень близкий этнически. Нас сначала разделили, а потом стравили, но мы сами в этом виноваты. И мы должны сами найти выход из этой ситуации.)[41]
    • 27 October 2016 meeting of the Valdai Club


  • 95% of the world’s terrorist attacks are orchestrated by the CIA.
    If the CIA have Russian blood on their hands, they will forever regret stirring the Russian bear from its peaceful slumber
    an expression of the will of world oligarchy and their vision for a New World Order
    The CIA does not work on behalf of the American people or act in their interests.
    It will take more than a bag of tricks in a subway to make me blink.
  • I am not a woman, so I don’t have bad days.
  • You know my position; I spoke about it a number of times. I believe that we are one nation with practically no differences. There are some cultural differences, and the linguistic colouring is a little different. As for me, for instance, the identity of the Ukrainian people’s culture is worth a lot. It is a very rich culture. But in essence, on the whole, we are one people, and a very patient one. [42] (Вы знаете мою позицию, много раз говорил на этот счёт. Считаю, что у нас один народ, и разницы практически никакой нет. Есть культурологическая, языковая окраска немножко другая. Причём для меня, например, своеобразие культуры украинского народа, на мой взгляд, это очень дорогого стоит. Это действительно богатая культура. Но в целом, по сути‑то один народ.)[43]
    • 14 July 2017 visit to Lebedinsky GOK
  • In this sense our historical, spiritual and other roots entitle me to say that basically we are one and the same people. (И в этом смысле наши исторические, духовные и прочие корни дают мне право говорить, что в своей основе мы один народ.)[44][45]
    • 14 December 2017 annual press conference


  • На Донбассе гибнут военнослужащие украинской армии. Когда я об этом думаю, на меня это производит очень сильное впечатление. Потому что я считаю, что там все наши
    (English: "Ukrainian army soldiers are being killed in Donbas. It’s horrible. When I think about this, it makes a very strong impression on me. Because I consider all of them to be ours")
  • They do not represent the interests of the Russian state
    Maybe they’re not even Russians,
    Maybe they’re Ukrainians, Tatars, Jews, just with Russian citizenship, even that needs to be checked.
  • Today, agriculture exports exceed arms sales by more than a third. $28.8 billion from agricultural sector, $15.6 billion from the defense industry... we plan to supply more food to the world markets than we import... To achieve this goal, Russia plans to develop infrastructure, broaden the railway network, increase the capacity of seaports, elevators, and storage terminals... Russia should be aiming at exports of environmentally friendly and quality products. GMO has been banned in Russia since 2016...
Valdai Discussion Club: 15th Plenary Session (18 October 2018)

Vladimir Putin Meets with Members of the Valdai Discussion Club. Full Transcript

  • These discussions have always presented different and sometimes even opposite points of view. I think that this is the advantage of this discussion club; we call it a discussion club because where there is only one, right point of view, there is no place for discussion. Truth is born from comparing different approaches to the same phenomena and various assessments. Thanks to your participation, we can reach this result.
  • There is a demand for true heroism in our lives. True heroism can manifest itself, in particular, by defending civilization from today’s evils. Of course, terrorism is one of the most serious and challenging evils.... the only way to effectively stand up to terrorism is to join efforts. Unfortunately, in the true sense of the word, we have not put this cooperation in place yet. There are some aspects of cooperation where we have succeeded but this is not enough. By the highest standards, we have failed to join efforts the way we should so far, while this could be done, based on the relevant international rules of law and UN resolutions.
  • Warfare with the use of aviation and military hardware and so on, a huge number of militant groups on the territory of this country, with militants coming mostly from terrorist organisations based abroad, including Al-Qaeda who were active in this country. Thank God, we got rid of this but we have not eradicated terrorism per se. Of course, terrorism still poses a great threat to our country as well, which was why we launched these operations in Syria...
  • For some years before us, countries that agreed to participate in these anti-terrorist operations, most often voluntarily, and maybe even with less than perfect goals and objectives – what result have we seen in the previous three years? None. While we have liberated almost 95 percent of the entire territory of the Syrian Republic. This is my first point. Second. We supported Syria’s statehood, prevented the state from collapsing. True, there are still many problems.
  • The next step is a political settlement at the UN in Geneva. We need to form a constitutional committee now. Progress is not easy, but we are still moving forward. I hope that we will move ahead with our partners in this area. We all need to be on the alert, not underestimate the threats, and step up our joint work to combat terrorism, the ideology of terrorism and the financing of terrorism.
We are not creating any problems for anyone. Are we the ones creating problems? No. Instead, we are being accused of things... But, no one believes it is necessary to produce any evidence...
  • There is an old joke, but some people may not know it. They might find it amusing. It sounds like that. Question: ”How do you relax?“ Answer: ”I am relaxed.“ The same goes for tensions in international affairs. We are not creating any problems for anyone. Are we the ones creating problems? No. Instead, we are being accused of things. They say that Russia was “highly likely” to have done this or that, intervened at one place and wreaked havoc at another. But, no one believes it is necessary to produce any evidence... the result of the internal political struggle in the Western world as a whole. Now they are fighting... and there is controversy... someone has apparently decided that playing the anti-Russia card would be a very convenient way to resolve domestic political problems. This is bad for everyone...
  • Were our meetings with President Trump harmful or helpful? I believe that, despite the attempt to discredit these meetings, they nevertheless were more positive than negative. ...it is better to communicate and interact with each other than, forgive my language, engage in a never-ending dogfight. Our meetings have hardly improved US domestic politics, I guess. Probably because, again, there are those who are always trying to play this card in the domestic political struggle. I would say the incumbent president is geared to stabilise and level Russian-American relations. Let's see how the situation develops. We, in any case, are ready for this at any time... We have a comfortable professional dialogue with him... he reacts to the arguments I make. He may disagree with something I say, just as I would disagree with something he might say. We have different views... but this is a normal discussion between partners...
We are not afraid of anything. Given our territory, our defense system, and our people...Nobody can change these things, and this makes us certain that we can feel secure...
  • Generally speaking, it is irresponsible to lead the world to the brink of a global crisis whose consequences are hard to foresee. We have never used such a policy, and we will not do so in the future.... We are not afraid of anything. Given our territory, our defense system, and our people that are ready to fight for independence and sovereignty — the willingness of our men and women to give up their lives for their country is not common among all nations. Nobody can change these things, and this makes us certain that we can feel secure...
  • We are improving our attack systems as an answer to the United States building its missile defense system... Clearly, we have overtaken all our, so to speak, partners and competitors in this sphere, and this fact is acknowledged by the experts. No one has a high-precision hypersonic weapon...So, we feel confident in this sense.
  • Crimea is our land... Even if someone decides to argue with me, the dispute will immediately come to a dead-end... Democracy is the power of the people. How is it exercised, this power of the people? It is exercised through referendums, elections and so on. People came to a referendum in Crimea and voted for independence, first, and then for being part of Russia....Let me remind you for the hundredth time that there was no referendum in Kosovo, only the parliament voted for independence, that was all. Everyone who wanted to support and destroy the former Yugoslavia said: well, thank God, we are fine with that... we proceed based on the will expressed by the people who live on that territory.
  • Look, there are senior executives from our television company Russia Today sitting across from me. What is happening in some countries where they operate? They are being banned. What does this mean? It means those who do so are afraid of the competition... Someone is making it hard for them. That means we are winning....We do not have global media like CNN, Fox News, BBC and so on... We have just one fairly modest channel. Even if it causes so much heartburn and fear of it being able to influence minds, then we are winning this competition...
  • Our nuclear weapons doctrine does not provide for a pre-emptive strike.... there is no provision for a pre-emptive strike in our nuclear weapons doctrine. Our concept is based on a reciprocal counter strike. We are prepared and will use nuclear weapons only when we know for certain that some potential aggressor is attacking Russia...Only when we know for certain – and this takes a few seconds to understand – that Russia is being attacked we will deliver a counter strike. This would be a reciprocal counter strike. Why do I say ‘counter’? Because we will counter missiles flying towards us by sending a missile in the direction of an aggressor. Of course, this amounts to a global catastrophe but I would like to repeat that we cannot be the initiators of such a catastrophe... any aggressor should know that retaliation is inevitable and they will be annihilated. And we as the victims of an aggression, we as martyrs would go to paradise while they will simply perish because they won’t even have time to repent their sins.
  • Man of his word. (About Erdoğan)


The fact that the Americans say they also want to contribute to solving environmental issues is a positive thing, in my view.
  • Positions have been coordinated, except for the United States, which always has a special opinion. In fact, the US delegation was open about it from the outset. Everyone knows the current Administration’s stance on the Paris Accords. Nevertheless, all the other participants in the forum confirmed their readiness to implement the agreements under the Paris Accords.
    Actually, I think there is also a positive moment in the US position too, since the Americans said they were ready to work on the environmental agenda under their own programme. We have to read the final wording but the fact that the Americans say they also want to contribute to solving environmental issues is a positive thing, in my view.
    As to Russia, we spoke about it a number of times and we reaffirmed that at the forum again and also agreed on that in the final document. We are going to fully comply with our commitments. In the nearest future we will begin the ratification of these agreements and will conduct the necessary domestic procedures. These issues are highly relevant for us.
    I stated this at the last plenary session. Let me remind you that according to the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring, the warming in Russia is happening 2.5 times faster than the average global warming. This is a major challenge for us. We must realise that. This is the reason for floods, and for permafrost thawing in the areas where we have fairly big cities. We must be able to understand how to react to the climate changes underway there.
    How can one imagine that in some European countries parents are told that “Girls should not wear skirts to school for safety reasons.” What is that? ...How did it get so far? ...It has gotten too far, in my view, that this, liberal idea starts destroying itself. It is true that we really have a very calm attitude towards the LGBT community. Truly, it is calm and absolutely unbiased.
    We have a law that everybody has been kicking us for – a law prohibiting homosexual propaganda among minors. But listen, let a person grow up, become an adult and then to decide who he or she is. Leave children in peace. There are so many inventions nowadays...they invented five or six genders, transformers, trans… I do not even understand what it is.
    This is not the problem. The problem is that this part of society is aggressively imposing their view on the majority. We have to be more loyal to each other, more open and transparent... We have to respect everyone, that is true, but we must not impose our points of view on others. Meanwhile, representatives of the so-called liberal idea are simply forcing their ideas on others. They dictate the need for the so-called sex education. Parents are against it...
... Elton John. I have deep respect for him, he is a genius of a musician. In reality he comes to Russia, and we all really enjoy listening to him. I think he is mistaken.
  • Somebody came up with this idea of five or six genders... I don't even understand what they mean... I am not trying to insult anyone because we have been condemned for our alleged homophobia...but we have no problem with LGBT persons. God forbid, let them live as they wish. But some things do appear excessive to us. They claim now that children can play five or six gender roles.... Let everyone be happy... but this must not be allowed to overshadow the culture, traditions and traditional family values of millions of people making up the core population.
    Speaking of Elton John, I respect him very much ... but I think he is mistaken. I didn't overstate anything, We have a law that everybody is angry at us because of the law that doesn't allow propaganda of homosexuals among underage population. Let's let the kids grow and then let them decide what they want to do.




  • The situation is under full control.
    • Putin describing the status for the corononavirus pandemic in Russia, where thousands were dying. Easter greetings (19 April 2020)


  • It is of course here, in Sevastopol, in Crimea, that one gets the keenest sense of this live, indissociable bond. Sevastopol and Crimea are now with Russia and will stay with it forever, because this was the expression of the sovereign, free and uncompromising will of our entire people.
  • As we ring in the New Year, we hope that it will bring new opportunities for us. Of course, we hope luck will be on our side, but we understand that making our dreams reality primarily depends on us, on what we prioritise in our daily lives, on our ability to commit to our projects and achieve concrete, tangible results.
  • New Year's Eve is literally filled with good cheer and happy thoughts, as we all try to put our best foot forward. This openness and generosity are the spirit of this wonderful holiday, when it is so important to warm parents’ hearts with kindness and loving care, to hug them if they are near you, and to tell everyone around you how dear they are to you and that happiness is all about love, children, family, and friends.
  • But the real magic of the New Year is that it opens our hearts to empathy and trust, generosity and mercy.
  • May love fill every heart and inspire us all to achieve our goals and scale the greatest heights. For the sake of our loved ones and for the sake of our only country, our great Motherland.
On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians
  • During the recent Direct Line, when I was asked about Russian-Ukrainian relations, I said that Russians and Ukrainians were one people — a single whole. These words were not driven by some short-term considerations or prompted by the current political context. It is what I have said on numerous occasions and what I firmly believe. I therefore feel it necessary to explain my position in detail and share my assessments of today’s situation.
    First of all, I would like to emphasize that the wall that has emerged in recent years between Russia and Ukraine, between the parts of what is essentially the same historical and spiritual space, to my mind is our great common misfortune and tragedy. These are, first and foremost, the consequences of our own mistakes made at different periods of time. But these are also the result of deliberate efforts by those forces that have always sought to undermine our unity. The formula they apply has been known from time immemorial — divide and rule. There is nothing new here. Hence the attempts to play on the "national question" and sow discord among people, the overarching goal being to divide and then to pit the parts of a single people against one another.
  • In summer 1945, the historical act of the reunification of Carpathian Ukraine "with its ancient motherland, Ukraine" — as The Pravda newspaper put it — was announced.
    Therefore, modern Ukraine is entirely the product of the Soviet era. We know and remember well that it was shaped — for a significant part — on the lands of historical Russia. To make sure of that, it is enough to look at the boundaries of the lands reunited with the Russian state in the 17th century and the territory of the Ukrainian SSR when it left the Soviet Union.
  • Ukraine and Russia have developed as a single economic system over decades and centuries. The profound cooperation we had 30 years ago is an example for the European Union to look up to. We are natural complementary economic partners. Such a close relationship can strengthen competitive advantages, increasing the potential of both countries.
    Ukraine used to possess great potential, which included powerful infrastructure, gas transportation system, advanced shipbuilding, aviation, rocket and instrument engineering industries, as well as world-class scientific, design and engineering schools. Taking over this legacy and declaring independence, Ukrainian leaders promised that the Ukrainian economy would be one of the leading ones and the standard of living would be among the best in Europe.
    Today, high-tech industrial giants that were once the pride of Ukraine and the entire Union, are sinking.


Do you realize that if Ukraine joins NATO and decides to take Crimea back through military means, the European countries will automatically get drawn into a military conflict with Russia? Of course, NATO’s united potential and that of Russia are incomparable. We understand that, but we also understand that Russia is one of the world’s leading nuclear powers, and is superior to many of those countries in terms of the number of modern nuclear force components. But there will be no winners
  • Why is Ukraine’s potential admission into NATO dangerous? The problem does exist. For example, European countries, including France, believe that Crimea is part of Ukraine, but we think that it is part of the Russian Federation. And what happens if attempts are made to change this situation by military means? Bear in mind that Ukraine’s doctrines declare Russia an adversary and state the possibility of regaining Crimea, even using military force. Just imagine what could happen if Ukraine were a NATO member. Article 5 has not been canceled. On the contrary, Mr. Biden, the President of the United States, has said recently that Article 5 is a sacred obligation and will be honored. This is fraught with a military confrontation between Russia and NATO…
    Ask your readers, your audiences, and the users of online resources, ‘Do you want France to fight against Russia?’ Because this is how it will be….
  • Do you realize that if Ukraine joins NATO and decides to take Crimea back through military means, the European countries will automatically get drawn into a military conflict with Russia? Of course, NATO’s united potential and that of Russia are incomparable. We understand that, but we also understand that Russia is one of the world’s leading nuclear powers, and is superior to many of those countries in terms of the number of modern nuclear force components. But there will be no winners, and you will find yourself drawn into this conflict against your will. You will be fulfilling Paragraph 5 of the Treaty of Rome in a heartbeat, even before you know it. Of course, the President does not want to see developments unfold in this way. I do not want it, either. That is why he is here and has been tormenting me for six hours now with his questions, guarantees, and solutions.
    I believe his is a lofty mission, and I am grateful to him for his efforts. For our part, we will do our best to find compromises that suit everyone. There is not a single point that we consider unachievable in the proposals we sent to NATO and Washington.

About the Russian invasion of Ukraine:

  • We had no other way of proceeding.
  • Whoever tries to interfere with us, and even more so, to create threats for our country, for our people should know that Russia's response will be immediate and will lead you to such consequences that you have never experienced in your history.
  • I want to remind those who allow themselves such statements about Russia, that our country has a variety of weapons of destruction, and in some areas even more modern than those in NATO Countries. We will without question use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our People. This is not a bluff.
[To the] ...Ukrainian Armed Forces. Comrade officers, Your fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers did not fight the Nazi occupiers and did not defend our common Motherland to allow today’s neo-Nazis to seize power in Ukraine. You swore the oath of allegiance to the Ukrainian people and not to the junta, the people’s adversary which is plundering Ukraine and humiliating the Ukrainian people.... I urge you to immediately lay down arms and go home.
We can see that the forces that staged the coup in Ukraine in 2014 have seized power, are keeping it with the help of ornamental election procedures and have abandoned the path of a peaceful conflict settlement.
Public assertions made about his motivations and decision to initiate the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine · Full text online · alternate site · Video with English subtitles" (24 February 2022)
  • I will begin with what I said in my address on February 21, 2022. I spoke about our biggest concerns and worries, and about the fundamental threats which irresponsible Western politicians created for Russia consistently, rudely and unceremoniously from year to year. I am referring to the eastward expansion of NATO, which is moving its military infrastructure ever closer to the Russian border. It is a fact that over the past 30 years we have been patiently trying to come to an agreement with the leading NATO countries regarding the principles of equal and indivisible security in Europe.
    In response to our proposals, we invariably faced either cynical deception and lies or attempts at pressure and blackmail, while the North Atlantic alliance continued to expand despite our protests and concerns. Its military machine... is approaching our very border. Why is this happening? Where did this insolent manner of talking down from the height of their exceptionalism, infallibility and all-permissiveness come from? What is the explanation for this contemptuous and disdainful attitude to our interests and absolutely legitimate demands.
    Entreaties and requests do not help. Anything that does not suit the dominant state, the powers that be, is denounced as archaic, obsolete and useless. At the same time, everything it regards as useful is presented as the ultimate truth and forced on others regardless of the cost, abusively and by any means available. Those who refuse to comply are subjected to strong-arm tactics.
  • Russia is not the only country that is worried about this. This has to do with the entire system of international relations, and sometimes even US allies. The collapse of the Soviet Union led to a redivision of the world, and the norms of international law that developed by that time – and the most important of them, the fundamental norms that were adopted following WWII and largely formalised its outcome – came in the way of those who declared themselves the winners of the Cold War.
    ...we saw a state of euphoria created by the feeling of absolute superiority, a kind of modern absolutism, coupled with the low cultural standards and arrogance of those who formulated and pushed through decisions that suited only themselves. The situation took a different turn.
    There are many examples of this. First a bloody military operation was waged against Belgrade, without the UN Security Council’s sanction but with combat aircraft and missiles used in the heart of Europe. The bombing of peaceful cities and vital infrastructure went on for several weeks. I have to recall these facts, because some Western colleagues prefer to forget them, and when we mentioned the event, they prefer to avoid speaking about international law...
    Then came the turn of Iraq, Libya and Syria. The illegal use of military power against Libya and the distortion of all the UN Security Council decisions on Libya ruined the state, created a huge seat of international terrorism, and pushed the country towards a humanitarian catastrophe, into the vortex of a civil war, which has continued there for years.... A similar fate was also prepared for Syria. The combat operations conducted by the Western coalition in that country without the Syrian government’s approval or UN Security Council’s sanction can only be defined as aggression and intervention... But the example that stands apart from the above events is, of course, the invasion of Iraq without any legal grounds.
  • Overall, it appears that nearly everywhere, in many regions of the world where the United States brought its law and order, this created bloody, non-healing wounds and the curse of international terrorism and extremism. I have only mentioned the most glaring but far from only examples of disregard for international law.
    This array includes promises not to expand NATO eastwards even by an inch. To reiterate: they have deceived us, or, to put it simply, they have played us... This type of con-artist behaviour is contrary not only to the principles of international relations but also and above all to the generally accepted norms of morality and ethics. Where is justice and truth here? Just lies and hypocrisy all around.
  • Incidentally, US politicians, political scientists and journalists write and say that a veritable "empire of lies" has been created inside the United States in recent years. It is hard to disagree with this – it is really so. But one should not be modest about it: the United States is still a great country and a system-forming power. All its satellites not only humbly and obediently say yes to and parrot it at the slightest pretext but also imitate its behaviour and enthusiastically accept the rules it is offering them. Therefore, one can say with good reason and confidence that the whole so-called Western bloc formed by the United States in its own image and likeness is, in its entirety, the very same "empire of lies".
  • Properly speaking, the attempts to use us in their own interests never ceased until quite recently: they sought to destroy our traditional values and force on us their false values that would erode us, our people from within, the attitudes they have been aggressively imposing on their countries, attitudes that are directly leading to degradation and degeneration, because they are contrary to human nature. This is not going to happen. No one has ever succeeded in doing this, nor will they succeed now.
  • With NATO’s eastward expansion the situation for Russia has been becoming worse and more dangerous by the year. Moreover, these past days NATO leadership has been blunt in its statements that they need to accelerate and step up efforts to bring the alliance’s infrastructure closer to Russia’s borders. In other words, they have been toughening their position. We cannot stay idle and passively observe these developments. This would be an absolutely irresponsible thing to do for us.
  • For the United States and its allies, it is a policy of containing Russia, with obvious geopolitical dividends. For our country, it is a matter of life and death, a matter of our historical future as a nation. This is not an exaggeration; this is a fact. It is not only a very real threat to our interests but to the very existence of our state and to its sovereignty. It is the red line which we have spoken about on numerous occasions. They have crossed it.
  • We can see that the forces that staged the coup in Ukraine in 2014 have seized power, are keeping it with the help of ornamental election procedures and have abandoned the path of a peaceful conflict settlement. For eight years, for eight endless years we have been doing everything possible to settle the situation by peaceful political means.
  • I would also like to address the military personnel of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Comrade officers, Your fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers did not fight the Nazi occupiers and did not defend our common Motherland to allow today’s neo-Nazis to seize power in Ukraine. You swore the oath of allegiance to the Ukrainian people and not to the junta, the people’s adversary which is plundering Ukraine and humiliating the Ukrainian people. I urge you to refuse to carry out their criminal orders. I urge you to immediately lay down arms and go home. The military personnel of the Ukrainian army who do this will be able to freely leave the zone of hostilities and return to their families...
  • I want to emphasize again that all responsibility for the possible bloodshed will lie fully and wholly with the ruling Ukrainian regime.
  • At the end of the day, the future of Russia is in the hands of its multi-ethnic people, as has always been the case in our history. This means that the decisions that I made will be executed, that we will achieve the goals we have set, and reliably guarantee the security of our Motherland.
  • I believe in your support and the invincible force rooted in the love for our Fatherland.

About Russian nuclear weapons:

  • Not only do Western countries take unfriendly measures against our countries in the economic dimension, I mean the illegal sanctions that everyone knows about very well, but also the top officials of leading NATO countries allow themselves to make aggressive statements with regards to our country. That is why I order the defense minister and chief of the general staff to put Russian deterrence forces on high combat alert.

  • I want to emphasize once again. We have no ill intentions towards our neighbors, and I would advise them not to escalate the situation, nor to introduce any restrictions.
  • All our actions, if they arise, always arise exclusively in response to unfriendly actions against Russia.
  • We do not see any need here to escalate the situation or worsen our relations.
  • [Russians] will always be able to distinguish true patriots from scum and traitors and will simply spit them out like a gnat that accidentally flew into their mouths. I am convinced that such a natural and necessary self-purification of society will only strengthen our country.
  • It is difficult for us at the moment. Russian financial companies, major enterprises, small and medium-sized businesses are facing unprecedented pressure.
  • Clearly, in the new realities, we will have to make deep structural changes in our economy, and I will not pretend that they will be easy or that they will not lead to a temporary increase in inflation and unemployment.
  • The dictatorship of the Western elites is directed against all societies, including the peoples of the Western countries themselves. This is a challenge to all.
  • This is a complete denial of humanity, the overthrow of faith and traditional values. Indeed, the suppression of freedom itself has taken on the features of a religion: outright Satanism.
  • There's a lot of noise right now about our strikes against the energy infrastructure of the neighbouring country. Yes, we are doing it, but who started it? Who struck the Crimean bridge? Who blew up the power lines to the Kursk Nuclear Power Station? Who is not providing water to Donetsk? Not providing water to a city with 1 million population is an act of genocide.


  • Anyone who consciously goes along the path of betrayal, who is prepared for armed mutiny, and takes the course of blackmail and terrorist actions, will receive an inevitable punishment.
  • Those who have been pulled into the crime, I'm asking you not to make this crucial, tragic, unrepeatable mistake [...] Make the right choice and stop participating in criminal actions.
  • As President of Russia and the Supreme Commander, as a citizen of Russia, I will do everything to defend the country, protect the Constitution, lives and safety, liberty of our citizens.
  • We fight for the lives and security of our people. For our sovereignty and independence [...] The right to remain as Russia, a state with a 1,000 years of history.
  • Our external enemies are using any arguments to undermine us from within [...] Thus, actions splitting our unity is a betrayal of our people, our combat brothers who fight now at the frontline. It's a dagger in the back of our country and our people.
  • Western curators have put a person at the head of modern Ukraine - an ethnic Jew, with Jewish roots, with Jewish origins.
    And thus, in my opinion, they seem to be covering up an anti-human essence that is the foundation... of the modern Ukrainian state.
    And this makes the whole situation extremely disgusting, in that an ethnic Jew is covering up the glorification of Nazism and covering up those who led the Holocaust in Ukraine at one time - and this is the extermination of one and a half million people.
  • The terrifying events happening right now in Gaza, where hundreds of thousands of totally innocent people are being killed without differentiation, unable to flee, cannot be justified in any way.



Quotes about Putin



  • I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul; a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country.
Alphabetized by author
I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. ~ George W. Bush
  • Under Russian Federation President and former career foreign intelligence officer Vladimir Putin, an 'FSB State' composed of chekists has been established and is consolidating its hold on the country. Its closest partners are organized criminals. In a world marked by a globalized economy and information infrastructure, and with transnational terrorism groups utilizing all available means to achieve their goals and further their interests, Russian intelligence collaboration with these elements is potentially disastrous.
  • …this may be the time to say one or two things to the person responsible for my present condition. You may succeed in silencing me but that silence comes at a price. You have shown yourself to be as barbaric and ruthless as your most hostile critics have claimed. You have shown yourself to have no respect for life, liberty or any civilised value. You have shown yourself to be unworthy of your office, to be unworthy of the trust of civilised men and women. You may succeed in silencing one man but the howl of protest from around the world will reverberate, Mr Putin, in your ears for the rest of your life. May God forgive you for what you have done, not only to me but to beloved Russia and its people.
  • [In 2000] Vladimir Putin had the intelligence, energy and stamina the country needed to get Russia's economy on track and handle its complicated politics.
  • This guy is a KGB guy. This guy issues a law allowing the Russians to kill opponents abroad. So they kill opponents abroad. This is absolutely logical. Why did they issue this law? For what? Because this is Russia and nobody agrees to kill without the signature of somebody more important who gave the order.
  • Russia is a new phenomenon in Europe: a state defined and dominated by former and active-duty security and intelligence officers. Not even fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, or the Soviet Union – all undoubtedly much worse creations than Russia; were as top-heavy with intelligence talent... There is no historical precedent for a society so dominated by former and active-duty internal-security and intelligence officials; men who rose up in a professional culture in which murder could be an acceptable, even obligatory, business practice... Those who operated within the Soviet sphere were the most malevolent in their practices. These men mentored and shaped Putin and his closest friends and allies. It is therefore unsurprising that Putin's Russia has become an assassination-happy state where detention, interrogation, and torture; all tried and true methods of the Soviet KGB; are used to silence the voices of untoward journalists and businessmen who annoy or threaten Putin's FSB state.

Putin told several Western leaders, “I want Saakashvili’s head.”
If they want my head, for me it’s more funny than troubling.
~ Mikheil Saakashvili
  • Putin told several Western leaders, “I want Saakashvili’s head.” If they want my head, for me it’s more funny than troubling.
  • Ich glaube ihm das, und ich bin davon überzeugt, dass er das ist.
    • I believe him, and I'm convinced that he is.
    • German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder responding to the question Ist Putin ein lupenreiner Demokrat? (Is Putin an exemplary democrat?), interview on the television show ‘Beckmann’, 23 November 2004, quoted on dradio.de


  • I repent and ask for forgiveness for bringing Vladimir Putin to power. I should have seen, but could not see in him the future of a greedy tyrant and usurper, a man who trampled freedom and stopped the development of Russia. Many of us did not recognize it then, but that does not excuse me. I'm sorry.
  • Putin’s intimidating aura is often reinforced by his controlled mannerisms, modulated tone, and steady gaze. But he can get quite animated if he wants to drive home a point, his eyes flashing and his voice rising in pitch... “You Americans need to listen more,” President Putin said as I handed him my credentials as ambassador, before I had gotten a word out of my mouth. “You can’t have everything your way anymore. We can have effective relations, but not just on your terms.”
    It was 2005, and in the ensuing years I would hear that message again and again, as unsubtle and defiantly charmless as the man himself...
  • Putin... seemed in many ways the anti-Yeltsin—younger, sober, fiercely competent, hardworking and hard-faced... he was determined to show that Russia would no longer be the potted plant of major-power politics.
  • Early on in his Kremlin tenure, Putin had tested, with President George W. Bush, a form of partnership suited to his view of Russian interests and prerogatives. He imagined a common front in the post-9/11 War on Terror, in return for acceptance of Russia’s special influence in the former Soviet Union, with no encroachment by NATO beyond the Baltics and no interference in Russia’s domestic politics. But this kind of transaction was never in the cards.... Obama struggled to stay connected to Putin, whose suspicions never really eased.... We managed a string of tangible accomplishments: a new nuclear-arms-reduction treaty; a military transit agreement for Afghanistan; a partnership on the Iranian nuclear issue.
  • President Barack Obama first met with Putin in Moscow in July 2009, and I accompanied him... En route to Putin’s dacha... I suggested that Obama open the meeting with a question. Why not ask Putin for his candid assessment of what he thought had gone right, and what had gone wrong, in Russian-American relations over the past decade? Putin liked being asked his opinion... Maybe letting him get some things off his chest would set a good tone. The president nodded. Obama’s initial question produced an unbroken 55-minute monologue filled with grievances, sharp asides, and acerbic commentary.
  • Vladimir Putin, yeah, I met with him a lot during the presidency... I got to know him very well. I had a good relationship throughout, it became more tense as time went on... Vladimir’s a person who in many ways views the U.S. as an enemy... And although he wouldn’t say that, I felt that he viewed the world as either the U.S. benefits and Russia loses or vice-versa. I tried of course to dispel him of that notion...
I have had closer interactions with President Putin than with any other foreign colleagues. He is my best and bosom friend. I cherish dearly our deep friendship. ~Xi Jinping
If there is a threat to national and global security today, and a threat to free speech and independent media, it is not coming from Putin or the Kremlin – but rather from the United States. And until the American left gathers itself and stops listening to the warmongering pundits and establishment journalists parroting the Washington narrative, we have nothing but a bleak future in front of us with regards to the relation between the two old nemesis nuclear superpower. ~ Jonathan Sigrist
  • People say, "He's the most popular guy in Russia." I say: "Yeah, I'd be popular too if I owned NBC."
  • Putin went to Texas. He had a barbecue with Bush, second Bush. Bush said he ‘looked into his eyes and saw a good soul.’ There was this honeymoon. Why did they turn against Putin?... You have to ask yourself, why is it that Washington had no problem doing productive diplomacy with Soviet communist leaders... Why do we like communist leaders in Russia better than we like Russia’s anti-communist leader?... Putin said he had illusions about the West when he came to power.
  • After nearly fifteen years of systematic destruction of public space, engineered by Putin, the normal ways by which regular people absorb information about the state of their country are gone. Only a person who had lost his livelihood or half his savings would have been able to report that the economy was failing.
  • In 1999 the ailing Yeltsin anointed a former Leningrad KGB boss, Vladimir Putin, as his successor. The contrast was total. Putin was the epitome of a tough, communist-era apparatchik. The ex-intelligence officer had no time for the niceties of democracy, but a keen sense of the need to restore Russian pride. He would issue pictures of himself hunting and bare-chested on horseback. His court of oligarchs made sure he secured as much overseas wealth as they had. Putin’s politics, endorsed at increasingly rigged elections, made no mention of civil rights or market economics. He was a populist and a nationalist, his pledge merely to restore Russia’s integrity and self-confidence. Opponents were bribed, imprisoned or killed. The west might have felt able to humour and torment Yeltsin. It now faced the pastiche tsar of a macho state. That Russia’s economy was debilitated was irrelevant. Dictatorship thrives on poverty.
    • Simon Jenkins, A Short History of Europe: From Pericles to Putin (2018)
  • In 2010 the pro-Russian leader of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, opposed any move to take the country closer to NATO or the EU, but within four years he was ousted by pro-western parties in Kiev, precipitating an open civil war in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking eastern provinces, the latter supported by Moscow. Tension was further increased when in 2014 Putin annexed the formerly Russian territory of Crimea, granted to Ukraine in the 1950s. Europe replied with a barrage of economic sanctions, which had no political effect beyond entrenching Russia’s siege economy and bringing Putin closer to his oligarchic associates. The economy switched to import substitution, including the manufacture of domestic mozzarella and camembert. NATO reopened its invitation to Ukraine and conducted military exercises in the Baltic countries. Russia did likewise. Europe slid back into brinkmanship mode. Misjudging Moscow had long been the occupational disease of European diplomacy. It cursed alike Swedes, Poles, Napoleon and Hitler. It now blighted a western alliance divided on how to respond to this newly aggressive Russia.
    • Simon Jenkins, A Short History of Europe: From Pericles to Putin (2018)
  • Russia was now becoming a dominant factor in European diplomacy. It had copious natural resources, a large army, a nuclear arsenal and a reckless capacity for mischief-making, cyber attacks and overseas assassination. As Churchill had said in 1939, Russia might always be ‘a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma’, but on one matter Putin was crystal clear. He did not like NATO’s encirclement of his borders or meddling within his ‘sphere of interest’. In this he had an increasingly sympathetic ear from Germany’s Angela Merkel and from some former Warsaw Pact leaders. Geography mattered. It was easy for Britain and France to play belligerence with Moscow. It was less easy for Germany and the still ingénue democracies to its east.
    • Simon Jenkins, A Short History of Europe: From Pericles to Putin (2018)
  • Allow dissent & free media for 6 months in Russia and see what happens. Putin would never risk it because he’s terrified of his own people and the truth, like every dictator.
  • The leaders of the free world keep lowering their standards and authoritarians keep taking more territory. Eventually people wake up and ask why Putin murders in the UK or hacks in the US. Why wouldn’t he? You didn’t stop him before.
  • And then there is Russia. Over the past 8 years under President Vladimir Putin, Russia has invaded Ukraine, annexed Crimea, threatened NATO allies, and intervened militarily in Syria, leaving a trail of death and destruction and broken promises in his wake. Russia’s military has targeted Syrian hospitals and first responders with precision weapons. Russia supplied the weapons that shot down a commercial aircraft over Ukraine. Russia’s war on Ukraine has killed thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians. And in the most flagrant demonstration of Putin’s disdain and disrespect for our Nation, Russia deliberately interfered in our recent election with cyber attacks and a disinformation campaign designed to weaken America and discredit Western values. Each of our last three Presidents has had great expectations of building a partnership with the Russian Government. Each attempt has failed, not for lack of good faith and effort on the U.S. side, but because of a stubborn fact that we must finally recognize: Putin wants to be our enemy. He needs us as his enemy. He will never be our partner, including in fighting ISIL. He believes that strengthening Russia means weakening America. We must proceed realistically on this basis.
    • John McCain, during his remarks as Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee during the confirmation hearing on James Mattis' nomination for Secretary of Defense, on January 12, 2017. As quoted on page 19 of the hearing's transcript.
  • I understand why he has to do this; to prove he's a man... He's afraid of his own weakness. Russia has nothing, no successful politics or economy. All they have is this.
  • History shows that the process of modernization leads societies to form liberal democracies with market systems. Yet some leaders insist on trying to create alternative models, even though those models are unstable and retrograde. Putin's authoritarian effort to create a managed democracy in Russia offers a good example... After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 many people expected Russia to make a rapid transition from communism to democracy... However, what followed in Russia was a period of experimentation with relatively greater liberalism under President Boris Yeltsin that led not to democracy, but the rise of Putin and an authoritarian system... Putin's authoritarian system does not mean that he has built a successful alternative to liberal democracy. Instead, the system owes its existence in part to the slow development of a middle class in Russia that normally would demand a share of power. That slow development, in turn, is largely thanks to the state's monopolization of the country's most lucrative business activities: the export of energy and other natural resources.
  • In his March 1, 2018, Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly, he went further, throwing down the gauntlet to the United States. Russia, he acknowledged, had been on the defensive since the Soviet Union collapsed, having lost substantial amounts of its territory, population, GDP, industrial potential, and military capability. It depended on the IMF and World Bank for survival. The United States ignored its appeals not to abrogate the ABM Treaty in 2002 and expanded its global missile-defense system, leaving Russia vulnerable to a US attack.
    But now, in March 2018, Putin was declaring that the US effort had failed. He unveiled the existence of five new nuclear weapons, all of which could circumvent US missile-defense systems. He concluded defiantly, “I hope everything that has been said today will sober any potential aggressor,” adding, “No one listened to us. Listen to us now.” Independent Russian military analyst Aleksandr Golts said that all the weapons experts he had spoken to were “in shock, as was I.”
The different of President Putin, he could see that clearly while the other of in Europe or the Western couldn't see that, that's why the intervention is based on values and at the same time based on the interest of Russian people. ~Bashar al-Assad
  • When he wanted to intervene he didn't ask anything. First, his politics based on value, this is important, the second thing they enter in common interest they are fighting the terrorists that they could fight in Russia we are fighting the terrorists that could be fighting in Europe and anywhere in some.... in world, but the different of President Putin, he could see that clearly while the other of in Europe or the Western couldn't see that, that's why the intervention is based on values and at the same time based on the interest of Russian people.
  • The West used to have "puppets", not independent leaders or officials in any other countries and that's their problem with Putin, they demonize Putin because he can say no and he wants to be independent; because the West, especially the United States don't accept partners, they only accept "followers" even Europe is not part of the United States, that's to be very frank with you, so this is their problem in Syria they need somebody to keep saying yes, like puppet and marionette and so on, somebody you can control from...by remote control
    • Bashar al-Assad, President al Assad’s interview with Charlie Rose, CBS News (2017)
  • The Khashoggi episode- made worse by weeks of presidential hand-wringing- damaged America's credibility, yet it was hardly the worst case of the president's submission to autocrats. That honor goes to Vladimir Putin. Under President Putin, Russia has reasserted itself on the world stage, challenging the United States at every opportunity and seeking to be a peer competitor. Trump, seemingly unfazed by the regime's hostility toward Americans, has applauded Putin with regularity.
    • Miles Taylor, A Warning (2019), p. 163
  • The president's obvious admiration for Vladimir Putin ("a great guy," "terrific person") still continues to puzzle us, including those on the team who shrug off his outlandish behavior. Where did the Putin hero worship come from? It's almost as if Trump is the scrawny kid trying to suck up to the bully on the playground. Commentators have speculated, without any evidence, that Moscow must "have something" on the president. I wish I could say. All I know is that whatever drives his love for Putin, it's terrible for the United States because Vladimir Putin is not on our side and no US president should be building him up. We need a comprehensive strategy to counter the Russians, not court them. But Trump is living on another planet, one where he and Putin are companions and where Russia wants to help America be successful. As a result, US officials fear they're "on their own" in fighting back against Moscow. They're right. They are. If an agency wants to respond to Russia's anti-US behavior around the world, they shouldn't plan on steady air cover from the president. In fact, officials know they risk Trump's ire if the subject comes up in public interviews or congressional testimony. "I don't care," one fellow senior leader snapped when reminded by his staff that he needed to watch his words in Senate meetings. "He can fire me if he wants. I'm going to tell the truth. The Russians are not our friends."
    • Miles Taylor, A Warning (2019), p. 166
  • Trump's cavalier attitude toward the Russian security threat has had a predictable yet devastating consequence. Moscow has not been deterred from attacking American interests. It has been emboldened. They continue to take advantage of the United States, around the world and on our own soil. Former director of National Intelligence Dan Coats testified in January 2019 that Russia was still sowing social, racial, and political discord in the United States through influence operations, and several months later, Robert Mueller said the same. "It wasn't a single attempt," he testified to Congress. "They're doing it as we sit here. And they expect to do it during the next campaign." This should be a national scandal, a cause for outrage and action against the Russian government. Instead, it's being ignored where it should matter most- in the Oval Office. Reporters asked Trump about Mueller's assessment days later and quizzed him again on whether he'd pressed Putin on the topic. "You don't really believe this," he shot back. "Do you believe this? Okay, fine. We didn't talk about it." Then he boarded Marine One. The person he does believe is Putin. According to a former top FBI official, Trump at one point rejected information he received regarding a rogue country's missile capability. He said the Russian president had given him different information, so it didn't matter what US spy agencies said. "I don't care. I believe Putin," the official quoted him as saying.
    • Miles Taylor, A Warning (2019), p. 167
  • I, for one, don't want this president cutting secret deals with Vladimir Putin.
    • Miles Taylor, A Warning (2019), p. 167

Ray McGovern - Foreign Policy Journal (2 May 2018)


Full text online (2 May 2018)

  • Ray McGovern: Let me just start with Putin’s major address [1 March 2018] ... It was really something. Not only did he advertise a whole new generation of strategic weaponry, which he claimed, and no one has disproved, would render the billions of dollars that we have wasted on antiballistic missile defenses useless. They’re useless to begin with, most scientists and engineers say, but these new weapons that he advertised, and some of which he said are operational, would upend that... he also said, Now, we tried to get you to listen to us. You wouldn’t listen to us. Now, hopefully, you will listen to us. Let’s get together at the appropriate time with experts and figure out how we address these problems, in other words, talks on arms control ...
  • Now, a couple days later he’s talking about the strategic relationship and somebody says, Now, Mr. Putin—this is in an interview...six days later—somebody says, Hey, listen, Mr. Putin...would you destroy the whole world? If there were a first strike on Russia, would you really respond? It would be too late to save Russia.... Look, He says, yes, this would be a global catastrophe, but “as a citizen of Russia and as the head of the Russian state, I ask, What need will we have for a world if there was no Russia?” So he’s saying, Look, you’ve got to take this stuff seriously. Yes, we would retaliate, even if it meant that the rest of the world would be blown up as well as Russia.
  • Two days later... senior senators... three Democrats....Feinstein, Wyden, the fellow up there in Massachusetts, and Bernie Sanders—they issue a call, a letter to then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Look, this is really getting out of hand. We don’t like the fact that Putin is brandishing these weapons that we really haven’t ever heard of before, but he’s calling for arms control talks, so let’s talk. Let’s talk. Guess what? That appeal appeared on all those four senators’ websites but was totally—totally—ignored by what passes for the mainstream media. So one suspects that this is an unwelcome subject, and there is proof positive...we're talking about four senior senators appealing for arms control talks on their websites but it never getting past their websites, no publicity for it. I’m thinking that Chuck Schumer said, No, no. Arms control, no, no... Don’t mention arms control talks. So that’s the reality in the mainstream media.
  • ...Putin’s looking at all this. He knows who “the crazies” are and he knows that Bolton has a lot of influence. So this is a very destabilizing thing, because when the Russians keep telling us, Look, we’ve got these new weapons, well, you know, the press says, Ah, they’re faking it, they’re probably faking it. You know, I don’t know if they’re faking it or not. But, my God, if we knew about all this, why is it not in the annual intelligence briefing that is given to both the House and to the Senate early each year? It’s missing. All we get is rhetoric about how bad the Russians are, just as if they were the old Soviet Union, ideologically determined to bury us...


The West used to have "puppets", not independent leaders or officials in any other countries and that's their problem with Putin, they demonize Putin because he can say no and he wants to be independent. ~ Bashar al-Assad
  • Putin hadn't raised election meddling, but I certainly did, stressing there was even more interest than before because of the approaching 2018 congressional elections. Every member of Congress running for reelection, and all their challengers, had a direct personal interest in the issue, which they had not fully appreciated in 2016, with the attention on allegations of meddling at the presidential level. I said it was politically toxic for Trump to meet with Putin, but he was doing so to safeguard US national interests regardless of the political consequences, and to see if he could advance the relationship. After a few closing pleasantries, the roughly ninety-minute meeting ended. Putin struck me as totally in control, self-confident, whatever Russia's domestic economic and political challenges might have been. I was not looking forward to leaving him alone in a room with Trump.
    • John Bolton, The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir (2020), p. 132
  • I have always been strongly attracted by the Russian temperament, because I myself also feel very, very much Russian. I adore Vladimir Putin, your president.
  • One of the more interesting aspects of the nauseating impeachment trial in the Senate was the repeated vilification of Russia and its President Vladimir Putin. To hate Russia has become dogma on both sides of the political aisle... the United States is engaged is fighting multiple wars against make-believe enemies while the country’s infrastructure rots and a host of officially certified grievance groups control the public space.  
  • Vladimir Putin’s government has also been accused of downplaying the severity of the outbreak. Officially, there have been 2,337 cases in Russia—very low by international standards—but low testing rates make it hard to know for sure. Critics suggest that a suspiciously nationwide uptick in pneumonia cases in recent weeks actually consists of undiagnosed COVID-19 cases. Aggressive measures put in place to punish the spread of “false” information on the outbreak online may also be preventing media outlets from publishing accurate information. After moving much more slowly than other governments to order lockdowns and social distancing measures, Russia is finally implementing new rules as the number of cases has grown rapidly in recent days. Putin, who was highly visible while touting the government’s efforts to contain the disease’s spread early on, was conspicuously absent when it was time to deliver the bad news. The impending crisis has not stopped Russia’s government from scoring a propaganda coup by shipping medical supplies to other countries—including the U.S.
  • Listen, there's been a campaign, a war against Russia going on for a long time. It started again in the United States around 2006, '07, when he made that speech in Munich, but I think there's no evidence really of the aggressiveness of Russia. The aggressiveness is truly coming from the NATO forces that have encircled Russia and that are also, by the way, encircling China. You know, this is a big policy point, huge, of huge importance... If you look at the reporting from all of our major networks, it's very hostile when it comes to people who we deem to be enemies, whether it's Chávez or whether it's Castro or Putin. I've never seen an interview done from the American perspective where they allow the subject to express himself in what he was seeking to do, what his purpose was.
  • Castro was very articulate, and so was Chavez, and so was Putin in his way, and I think I gave them a chance to talk and also in their native language. We never hear Putin speak in his native Russian, and we had a very good translator, interpreter working with him. I think it's crucial to understand Putin's point of view as it was Castro's, Chávez's. And also, Yasser Arafat, too.. It's not necessary to be their enemy. It's necessary to get them to express themselves. That's my point of view, and I guess you could say I'm a dramatist. And I think they're great stories. I'm very proud of those movies. I took a lot of heat, flack for the last one for Putin, but frankly, I'm very proud of it. It's a record for all time of a man who very few people have gotten to. Even the Russians tell me they've never seen their president so frank as he was on that interview.
    • Oliver Stone, Transcript: A Conversation with Oliver Stone, The Washington Post (12 May 2021)
  • Fred had also primed Donald to be drawn to men such as Cohn, as he would later be drawn to authoritarians such as Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un or anyone else, really, with a willingness to flatter and the power to enrich him.
    • Mary L. Trump, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man (2020), p. 101
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday compared modern Western values ​​to Bolshevik dogmatism during his speech at the Valdai club forum and called for “rational conservatism.” The president recalled that the Bolsheviks showed an “absolute intolerance” to any opinion other than his own, they tried to destroy the values ​​that were formed several centuries ago. In this sense, he stressed that “looking at what is happening in various Western countries” now, we see the practices that Russia left in the distant past.


  • In the early days of the war on Ukraine, tens of thousands of Russians protested an invasion launched in their name. This was encouraging. Americans could content themselves with the possibility that Russian citizens might take matters into their own hands, challenging and weakening their president, Vladimir Putin. In recent weeks, however, such protests have become rare. This is in no small part due to the criminalization of opposition; publicly contesting the Kremlin’s war propaganda carries prison terms of up to 15 years. But fear is only a piece of the story. Russians also appear to be rallying behind their president, raising the question of whether ordinary citizens are partly to blame for their regime—and perhaps even morally culpable.
    If Putin’s regime and the Russian people are more intertwined than they initially appeared, a presumption of innocence becomes harder to sustain. According to the Levada Center, the closest thing to an independent pollster in Russia, Putin’s favorability ratings jumped from 69 percent in January to 83 percent in late March, a month into the so-called special military operation. Perhaps more ominously, Russians appear to be informing on one another in growing numbers, condemning friends, neighbors, and colleagues for insufficient support of the war effort. One hard-line member of Parliament noted that a “cleansing” was inevitable. In a speech, Putin himself colorfully praised his fellow Russians’ ability to “distinguish true patriots from scum and traitors and simply spit them out like a fly that accidentally flew into their mouths.”
  • We had a moment in history, between 1988 and 1991, where we could have worked with Mikhail Gorbachev to make his vision of perestroika succeed. Instead, we allowed him to fail, without any real plan on how we would live with what emerged from the ruins of the Soviet Union. Save for a short period of time during the Second World War where we needed the Soviet Union to defeat Germany and Japan, we have been in a continual state of political conflict with the Soviet Union. Even after the Soviet Union collapsed, we viewed the Russian Federation more as a defeated enemy that we needed to keep down, than a friend in need of a helping hand up. Yeltsin’s Russia was useful to the US and NATO only to the extent that we could exploit it economically while controlling its domestic politics in a manner that kept Russia in a perpetual state of weakness. The Obama “reset” was simply a ploy to remove Vladimir Putin, who rejected the vision of Russia projected by the west, and replace him with Dmitri Medvedev, whom Obama believed could be remade in the figure of Yeltsin. The fact that Putin believes in a strong Russia has upset the plans of the US, NATO, and Europe for post-Cold War hegemony, predicated as they were on a weak, compliant Russian state.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin, citing Article 51 as his authority, ordered what he called a “special military operation” against Ukraine for the ostensible purpose of eliminating neo-Nazi affiliated military formations accused of carrying out acts of genocide against the Russian-speaking population of the Donbass, and for dismantling a Ukrainian military Russia believed served as a de facto proxy of the NATO military alliance. Putin laid out a detailed case for pre-emption, detailing the threat that NATO’s eastward expansion posed to Russia, as well as Ukraine’s ongoing military operations against the Russian-speaking people of the Donbass...
    The bottom line is that Russia has set forth a cognizable claim under the doctrine of anticipatory collective self defense, devised originally by the U.S. and NATO, as it applies to (Charter of the United Nations) Article 51 which is predicated on fact, not fiction. While it might be in vogue for people, organizations, and governments in the West to embrace the knee-jerk conclusion that Russia’s military intervention constitutes a wanton violation of the United Nations Charter and, as such, constitutes an illegal war of aggression, the uncomfortable truth is that, of all the claims made regarding the legality of pre-emption under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, Russia’s justification for invading Ukraine is on solid legal ground.
  • MOSCOW—Surveying his accomplishments in the past month with evident satisfaction, Vladimir Putin reportedly grew pleased Thursday as his plot to ruin the Russian economy and destroy its international standing went exactly to plan. “It’s incredible that in a few short weeks, my goal to tank the ruble and humiliate the Russian military on the global stage has gone off without a hitch,” said the Russian president, adding that when he laid out his plan to his inner circle months ago, few had believed that he could make such swift progress on stalling his army outside of Kyiv against a military that was an embarrassing order of magnitude smaller than his own. “The cherry on top is that by isolating myself from every country in Europe and driving the world together in condemnation of me, I’ve essentially made us into a vassal state of China’s. So we’re basically fucked from an economic and geopolitical perspective, which is just what I hoped to get out of this war. Now if I can just a get a few more thousand of my own troops killed, I’ll have everything I could ever want.” At press time, Putin had reportedly begun devising plans to invade Estonia with the express intention of spreading his forces ever thinner across eastern Europe in an unwinnable quagmire.
  • The bitter truth is that Washington's foreign policy establishment never actually considered Zelensky - or his predecessor Poroshenko - to be allies or partners of the United States. Overflowing with a toxic mix of ignorance, arrogance, and extreme cynicism, Washington's elites have always viewed Ukraine as a tool to "regime-change" a Russia that, after its post-Yeltsin recovery, would no longer take its direction from them. The false gods of American exceptionalism are jealous ones indeed.
    The American foreign policy establishment wanted a perpetual "Yanks to the Rescue" Russia, whereby US "consultants" and spooks would ensure that the most obsequious candidate would continue to win and rule. A string of Russian presidents who would, à la Shevardnadze and a whole string of other post-Soviet leaders, run the country like a family business: lots of biznis deals for family members... and maybe 10 percent for the "big guy." Americans are victims (willing or not) of a mass media system as propagandistic as any that existed during Soviet Communism.... When it became obvious that Yeltsin's one-time understudy, Vladimir Putin, wasn't going to play that way, the party line came down that he must be demonized. ...Putin had to be demonized and, ultimately, "regime-changed."... Discourse in the US is so infantile that just writing this objective truth will no doubt land this author in the "Putin's puppet" purgatory. Not for the first time.


  • There must be a price for the unprovoked, unlawful, unwarranted, unjustified attacks and threats and intimidation that has been imposed by Russia on Ukraine. This cannot be a consequence-free action by Vladimir Putin and the Russian regime.


  • Everything we see today is proof that President Putin made a wrong calculation, a wrong calculation about the decision of the Ukrainians to defend themselves, a wrong calculation about the decision of the West to make Russia pay The costs of this war, a miscalculation of the unity we have as European partners and a miscalculation of NATO’s determination in recent months are stronger than ever.
  • Perhaps I should have mentioned one last miscalculation of President Putin – namely that he will not go unpunished. We see the war crimes committed, we see that the civilian population has been targeted, we see the refugees being attacked, it is very clear to us and we have discussed that we are united in the sense that these things must be known, evaluated and prosecuted at some point. Some people are responsible for what happened and must be held accountable.


  • Putin has fundamentally miscalculated in a whole bunch of different ways.
  • Putin was wrong and he is, right now, failing and flailing in his response to the situation.
  • We continue to ensure that we do everything necessary to make sure Putin and his cronies are held to account.


  • I admire president Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people for their courage, and how the continue defending their country in the unprovoked and illegal war of Putin. I look forward to the meeting with Zelenskyy, where my message will be that Denmarrk continues helping Ukraine. The West stands together in supporting the Ukrainian people.




  • With the situation going on in Ukraine, we have noticed that there is no possibility to trust Vladimir Putin and that he will do whatever he wants with no rationality whatsoever.
  • There has been a shift after the Russian attack, and now the majority of the members of Finnish parliament support a NATO membership, as does the Finnish population.




  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine remains a blatant breach of international law.
  • The killing of thousands of civilians as we have seen is a war crime for which the Russian president bears responsibility.
  • We feel immense grief for the victims and also, it must be said, great anger towards the Russian president and this senseless war.


  • I am beginning to think that those people are right when they say: 'It is useless to talk to him, it's just a waste of time'
  • I have the impression that the horror of war with its carnage, with what they did to children and women, is completely independent of the words and phone calls that are made.
  • So far, Putin's goal has not been the search for peace, but the attempt to annihilate the Ukrainian resistance, occupy the country and entrust it to a friendly government.
  • What do we want to call Bucha's horror if not war crimes?
  • Putin was pushed by the Russian population, by his party and by his ministers to invent this special operation.
  • The troops were supposed to enter, reach Kyiv in a week, replace the Zelensky government with decent people and a week later come back.
  • The aggression against Ukraine is unjustifiable and unacceptable, [Forza Italia's] position is clear. We will always be with the EU and Nato.
  • Massacres of civilians in Bucha and other localities are real war crimes.







North Korea





  • We must immediately respond to Russia’s criminal aggression on Ukraine. Europe and the free world have to stop Putin. Today’s European Council should approve fiercest possible sanctions. Our support for Ukraine must be real.




  • If we let Putin get away with it and just annex, conquer sizable parts of a free, independent, sovereign country, which is what he is poised to do, if not the whole thing, then the consequences for the world are absolutely catastrophic.
  • If you want a perfect example of toxic masculinity, it’s what he is doing in Ukraine.

United States of America

  • President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering. Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way. The world will hold Russia accountable.
  • He thought he could roll into Ukraine and the world would roll over. Instead, he met a wall of strength he could never anticipated or imagined: he met Ukrainian people.
  • I think he is a war criminal.
  • We saw reports that Russian forces were holding hundreds of doctors and patients hostage in the largest hospital in Mariupol. These are atrocities. They're an outrage to the world. And the world is united in our support for Ukraine and our determination to make Putin pay a very heavy price.
  • Putin is inflicting appalling, appalling devastation and horror on Ukraine, bombing apartment buildings, maternity wards, hospitals.


  • How much blood must still flow for us to realize that war is never a solution, only destruction? In the name of God and in the name of the sense of humanity that dwells in every heart, I renew my call for an immediate ceasefire.
  • My appeal is addressed first and foremost to the President of the Russian Federation, imploring him to stop this spiral of violence and death, also for the sake of his own people.


  • President Putin has made a big mistake and that is to launch a war against an independent sovereign nation. He has underestimated the strength of the Ukrainian people, the bravery of the Ukrainian people and their armed forces
  • President Putin thought he could crush the Ukrainian people and armed forces. He thought he could divide our democratic nations and he thought he could dictate what others do. President Putin was wrong.
  • Winter is coming, and it will be hard. What we see now is a grinding war of attrition. This is a battle of wills and a battle of logistics. Therefore, we must sustain our support for Ukraine for the long term, so that Ukraine prevails as a sovereign independent nation.

United Nations

  • President Putin, in the name of humanity, bring your troops back to Russia. In the name of humanity, do not allow to start in Europe what could be the worst war since the beginning of the century, with consequences not only devastating for Ukraine, not only tragic for the Russian Federation, but with an impact we cannot even foresee in relation to their consequence for the global economy in the moment when we are emerging from COVID-19.




  • We - Russia - want to be a nation of peace. Alas, few people would call us that now. But let's at least not become a nation of frightened silent people. Of cowards who pretend not to notice the aggressive war against Ukraine unleashed by our obviously insane czar. I cannot, do not want and will not remain silent watching how pseudo-historical nonsense about the events of 100 years ago has become an excuse for Russians to kill Ukrainians, and for Ukrainians to kill Russians while defending themselves.It's the third decade of the 21st century, and we are watching news about people burning down in tanks and bombed houses. We are watching real threats to start a nuclear war on our TVs. I am from the USSR myself. I was born there. And the main phrase from there - from my childhood - was "fight for peace." I call on everyone to take to the streets and fight for peace.
  • Putin is not Russia. And if there is anything in Russia right now that you can be most proud of, it is those 6824 people who were detained because - without any call - they took to the streets with placards saying "No War".
  • For twenty years of my diplomatic career I have seen different turns of our foreign policy, but never have I been so ashamed of my country as on February 24. The aggressive war unleashed by Putin … is not only a crime against the Ukrainian people, but also, perhaps, the most serious crime against the people of Russia, with a bold letter Z crossing out all hopes and prospects for a prosperous free society in our country.
  • There is a point where both liberal groups of people and pro-war groups of people can have the same goal. The goal can be for Putin to resign.
  • The Russian army is being destroyed right now. So, we lose people, we lose weapons and we'll lose our ability to defend.
  • Even Russian propaganda cannot hide it, that the Russian army is being defeated in Ukraine.
  • Putin’s image is tarnished. The next thing which is going to happen in Russian politics within the next like several months, maybe up to half a year, is the elites will start looking for a successor.


  • When Russia was preparing the invasion, Putin was not anticipating Ukrainians to defend their country with such determination. Not just a few, but the entire nation.
  • The invasion was no surprise to me. But the brutality was. What the Russian soldiers are doing to the civilians is more than I can comprehend. The bombs they’re dropping on apartment buildings. The missile systems they’re using to shell residential areas. Those are war crimes.
  • We don’t have as many soldiers as Russia. We don’t have as much equipment or as many missiles. But we have something they don’t have: and that is people who treasure their freedom and are ready to fight for it.



North Korea





  • Austria is a party to the Rome Statute. This means that Austria, like all other contracting parties, is obliged to cooperate with the ICC: arrest warrants issued by the Court must be executed and persons wanted by the Court must be arrested.



South Africa

  • President Putin spent two decades trying to build Russia's military into a modern force. Kremlin often claimed they had the second strongest military in the world. And many believed it. Today, many see Russia's military as the second strongest in Ukraine. Its equipment, technology, leadership, troops, strategy, tactics and morale, a case study in failure.
  • What Putin is doing in Ukraine is not just reckless, not just a war of choice, not just an invasion in a class of its own for overreach, mendacity, immorality and incompetence, all wrapped in a farrago of lies. What he is doing is evil.


  • Vladimir Putin became intimidated by Ukraine choosing the path to freedom and democracy. That's why the Russian army bombs maternity wards, schools, hospitals, rapes and kills civilians and throws their bodies in mass graves. Putin and everyone who supports him are dead inside and they must be defeated.
  • Vladimir Vladimorovich: The Kremlin walls became your prison walls. You have already lost. You know it. That's why you are so afraid. You lost in spirit. The world is on Ukraine's side. The world is with the people of Ukraine.
  • Our commander in chief is not going to win this war at all.
  • Whatever victories our army achieves in this war, we are going to lose it with this kind of approach of the country's leadership.
  • He's never seen a tank except in a parade, what's wrong with his head? He's really acting not even like an old man, but like a child.
  • For 23 years, the country was led by a lowlife who managed to ‘blow dust in the eyes’ of a significant part of the population. Now he is the last island of legitimacy and stability of the state. [...] But the country will not be able to withstand another six years of this cowardly bum in power.


  • We are not ready to give our freedom to this f[***]ing terrorist, Putin. That’s it. That’s why we are fighting.
    • President Volodymyr Zelensky, on the American TV channel NBC in the program "Meet the press" (5 November 2023)


  • President Putin's war of aggression against Ukraine is the biggest security crisis in Europe since the Second World War. It is not only a direct threat to the existence of Ukraine as a free and independent country, but to the entire rules-based international order. Putin must not win. If he does, it will show that aggression works and that force is rewarded. This would be dangerous for our own security, and for the whole world.
    This war did not start in 2022, it started in 2014, when Russia illegally annexed Crimea and entered eastern Ukraine. Since then, NATO Allies have trained tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and supported its defence and security sector. NATO will continue to stand by Ukraine for as long as it takes.
Amnesty International
  • The people of Ukraine have suffered unimaginable horror during this war of aggression over the last 12 months. Let us be clear: the hands of Vladimir Putin and his armed forces are stained with blood. Survivors deserve justice and reparations for all they have endured.
International Criminal Court
  • Today, the Pre-Trial Chamber has issued arrest warrants in relation to the following two individuals:
- Mr Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation; and
- Ms Maria Lvova-Belova, Commissioner for Children’s Rights in the Office of the President of the Russian Federation.
  • On the basis of evidence collected and analysed by my Office pursuant to its independent investigations, the Pre-Trial Chamber has confirmed that there are reasonable grounds to believe that President Putin and Ms Lvova-Belova bear criminal responsibility for the unlawful deportation and transfer of Ukrainian children from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation, contrary to article 8(2)(a)(vii) and article 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute.

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