On state television, Russia’s President Putin gives an insight into his world of thoughts: He repeats the narrative of a threatening West that wants to divide “historic Russia”. With regard to Ukraine, he has always sought peaceful negotiations since 2014. He still does that now. But the West refuses.

According to its President Vladimir Putin, Russia is ready to negotiate with all parties involved in the Ukraine conflict. However, the political leadership in Kyiv and its Western supporters have refused talks, Putin claimed in an interview with the state TV channel Rossiya-1. “We are ready to negotiate acceptable solutions with all parties involved, but that’s up to them – it’s not us who are refusing to negotiate, it’s them.”

Putin was convinced of his course in Ukraine. “I believe that we are acting in the right direction. We are defending our national interests, the interests of our citizens, our people. And we have no choice but to protect our citizens,” said the Kremlin chief. In the interview, he repeated his accusations that the West wanted to destroy “historic Russia”.

He has been trying to resolve the situation in Ukraine peacefully since 2014. “We have always tried to ensure that all disputes are resolved peacefully through negotiations,” Putin said. “But unfortunately the other side felt differently.” In fact, Russia started the war against Ukraine in 2014 with the illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.

In the interview, Putin once again assigned responsibility for this to the West. This has begun to take tough steps of a military nature, said Putin with a view to NATO’s eastward expansion. Underlying the war in Ukraine is “the policy of our geopolitical opponents” aimed at dividing historic Russia. “Divide and conquer, that’s what they’ve always tried and are still trying to do. But our goal is different: it’s to unite the Russian people,” Putin said.

Putin was also convinced that the Russian army would disable the US Patriot air defense systems. This will happen “of course, 100 percent,” according to the Kremlin boss. So far, however, Ukraine has not received these weapon systems. During a visit by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy this week, the USA announced that it wanted to supply Ukraine with this weapon system.