In a speech addressing cabinet members regarding Russia's financial situation, President Vladimir Putin claimed on Wednesday that the sanctions against Moscow aren't a direct result of the war in Ukraine, but part of a larger plan to cripple and "dismantle" Russia.
Putin claimed that Russia itself is the target of Western economic aggression, rather than just individuals or the military-industrial complex. Putin called the sanctions an "economic war" and "barbaric and aggressive," trying to paint Russia as the victim of recent global events.
Regarding the reason for Western sanctions, Putin compared the West to Nazi Germany pre-WWII, saying they were banding together against Russia the same way Nazi Germany did in the 1930s.
Similarly to those times, He claimed that Russia's culture and unique way of life are what is really in danger, and they must face that threat and "protect themselves from the Western fifth column."
Russia will face massive inflation and unemployment following the hard economic sanctions that crippled the country's economic and industrial sector, Putin admitted.
This line of planning, bracing for long-term effects, points to the Russian leader not planning to back out of Ukraine or cooperate with the West. Putin said the Russian people need to "brace" for coming difficult times, and that the Russian economy needs to adapt from the core to face the new reality of the Russian economic sphere.
While presenting the "difficult days ahead," Putin instructed ministries to present assistance to low-income families and businesses in anticipation of unemployment and financial difficulties. He contradicted himself saying that the central bank will not need to print more money and that the economy will remain stable.