Vladimir Putin vowed to stop the West from “splitting Russia” in a New Year’s speech as missiles rained down on Kyiv.
In a chilling eight-minute televised rant, Vladimir Putin said the West is using the Ukraine war to destroy Russia in a message broadcast on Russian state TV on Saturday.
The Russian president said: “For years, Western elites hypocritically assured us of their peaceful intentions. In fact, in every possible way they were encouraging neo-Nazis who conducted open terrorism against civilians in the Donbas.”
He added: “The West lied about peace, but was preparing for aggression, and today it admits it openly, no longer embarrassed.
And they cynically use Ukraine and its people to weaken and split Russia, Putin said. We have never allowed anyone and will not allow anyone to do this.”
Meanwhile, Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said one person was killed, with another 20 injured, as fresh air strikes hit the capital on Saturday.