Quite clearly, humanitarian motivations played a major role in President Putin’s decision to commence his country’s special operation. He was partially driven by the desire to defend his co-ethnics’ human rights in Ukraine after its regime’s Western patrons supported Kiev’s violent violation thereof as part of that de facto New Cold War bloc’s divide-and-rule Hybrid War on Russia. The Ukrainian Civil War therefore placed Russia in a strategically disadvantageous position that forced President Putin to act.

President Putin unexpectedly held a far-reaching press conference on Thursday, during which time he explained why he had no choice but to protect the Russian population in Ukraine, among the other important topics that he discussed. The Russian leader has regularly reaffirmed this humanitarian-driven motivation behind his country’s special operation, but this time he did so in a lot more detail than usual. The present piece will analyze each part of his answer, after which some final thoughts will be shared.


* “You have asked whether it is possible to speak about greater US involvement in the conflict in Ukraine. I think we need to look at the problem more broadly. What do I mean specifically and why? Because the United States has been doing this for a long time – it has long been involved in the processes taking place in the Soviet and post-Soviet space.

–  President Putin immediately put the present phase of the Ukrainian Conflict into its proper historical context by reminding his audience about its true origins, emphasizing that everything can ultimately be traced back to American meddling in the erstwhile Soviet Union.

* “Back in Soviet times whole institutes worked in Ukraine, and they fully realised the background of the issue. They have experienced, deep specialists who know this professionally. I will repeat, the ground was laid during Soviet times; people were selected, meanings were defined and so on. I don’t want to go into details at this point – this is not the right format where one can go deep into the history of the issue. That said, it is still clear where all this came from.”

– He then built upon the preceding insight by explaining the modus operandi at play, particularly the influence that external forces exerted in exacerbating preexisting identity differences via their intelligence services.

* “The unity of the Russian world is a very subtle issue. Divide and rule – this slogan was used in ancient times and is still being actively used in real politics. This is why our potential adversary, our opponents have always been dreaming about this and have always been engaged in this. They have been trying to divide us and then run the separate parts.”

– President Putin then explicitly said what he’d hitherto been hinting at, namely that the American end game has always been about advancing the classic divide-and-rule strategy against the former Soviet Union and its successor state of the Russian Federation.

* “What is new here? The idea of Ukrainian separatism was born by itself long ago, when we were still one country. You know, I have always said that if someone decides that a separate ethnic group has formed and wants to live independently, for God’s sake, it is impossible to ever go against the will of the people.”

– What he’s specifically referring to with respect to his previously articulated position is his magna opus from summer 2021 “On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians”, which reaffirmed his belief in Ukraine’s independence, albeit as a truly sovereign state and not a proxy of hostile powers like the US.

* “But if this is so, this principle must be universal and it is impossible to ever go against the will of people that feel like they are in a different reality, that consider themselves a part of the Russian people and the Russian world, that believe they are part of this culture, part of this language and part of this history and these traditions. Nobody can fight them, either.”

– It’s here where President Putin began explaining the humanitarian motivation behind his country’s special operation by drawing attention to the fact that double standards shouldn’t be applied towards Ukrainians and Russians when it comes to the UN-enshrined right of self-determination.

* “But a war was unleashed on them in 2014. I mean a war. This is what it was about. What was it when the centres of million-strong cities were struck from the air? What was it when troops with armour were deployed against them? It was a war, combat operations. We endured all this, endured and endured, in the hope of some peace agreement. Now it turns out that we were simply fooled. So, a country like the United States has been involved in this for a long time. A long time.”

– He doesn’t directly say so, but the last part of the above passage hints at how disappointed he feels at his formerly close friend Merkel for admitting that Minsk was just a ruse for rearming Kiev ahead of its planned final offensive on Donbass, which was intended to decisively end the Ukrainian Civil War.

* “In this sense, it is possible to say that by leading us to the current events, they achieved the desired goal. For our part, we had also no other choice than the actions we took late last February. Yes, that was the logic shaping the developments, but our primary goal is to protect people that – let me repeat – feel like they are part of our nation, part of our culture.”

– President Putin led by example in this part by dispelling the wishful thinking that he earlier advised Russian strategic forecasters against indulging in after acknowledging that he was indeed duped by Merkel over Minsk despite some among the Alt-Media Community continuing to insist that he wasn’t.

* “What did we believe at one time? We believed that okay, the USSR ceased to exist. But, as I said at yesterday’s Defence Ministry Board meeting, we thought our common historical roots, our cultural and spiritual background would be stronger than what pulls us apart, and such forces have always existed. We assumed that what unites us was stronger. But no, it was not so, due to the assistance of outside forces and the fact that people with extreme nationalist views came to power basically after the collapse of the Union.”

– Here he adds to the preceding insight by explaining the thought process of Russian policymakers that inadvertently contributed to all of them, himself admittedly included, being duped by Merkel into indulging in wishful thinking over Minsk and falling for well-intended political fantasies about Ukraine.

* “And this division was growing worse all the time with the help of these forces and despite all our efforts. As I once said – at first we were pulled apart, separated and then set against each other. In this sense, they have achieved results, of course, and in this sense it has been something of a fiasco for us. We were left with nothing else. Maybe we were deliberately brought to this, to this brink. But we had nowhere to retreat, this is the problem.”

– President Putin once again showed that he’s not above openly acknowledging his policy shortcomings by describing the complicated situation that Russia was forced into on the eve of its special operation as “something of a fiasco for us”, which is true and testifies to the failure of his country’s prior approach.

* “They were always fully involved; they did their best. I do not remember now, but you can read up on it in history books. One of the deputies of the tsarist State Duma said, if you want to lose Ukraine, add Galicia to it. And this is what happened in the end; he turned out to be a visionary. Why? Because people from that part behave very aggressively and actually suppress the silent majority in the rest of that territory.”

– Elaborating a bit more on why Russia was led into such a “fiasco”, he implied that it’s partially because policymakers underestimated the influence of hyper-nationalist Ukrainians from the former Polish region of Eastern Galicia over the rest of the country, the problem of which was foreseen a century ago.

But again, we believed that the underlying foundations of our unity would be stronger than the trends that are tearing us apart. But it turned out this was not the case. They began to suppress Russian culture and the Russian language, tried to break our spiritual unity in totally barbaric ways. And they pretended that no one noticed. Why? Because, as I said, their strategy was to divide and rule.”

– Circling back to his primary reason for bringing up the origins of the latest phase of the Ukrainian Conflict, President Putin explained how hyper-nationalist Ukrainians from Galicia violently imposed their identity onto their Russian compatriots, which the US supported as part of its divide-and-rule plot.

* “A unification of the Russian people is undesirable. No one wants it. On the other hand, our disunity would make them happy; they would gladly continue to rip us apart. But our unification and consolidation are things no one wants – except us, and we will do it and we will succeed.”

– The last part of his answer about America’s role in provoking Russia’s special operation summarized that declining unipolar hegemon’s grand strategic motivation and contrasts it with his country’s own, declaring that Moscow won’t ever be defeated in its quest to unite the Russian people.


Quite clearly, humanitarian motivations played a major role in President Putin’s decision to commence his country’s special operation. He was partially driven by the desire to defend his co-ethnics’ human rights in Ukraine after its regime’s Western patrons supported Kiev’s violent violation thereof as part of that de facto New Cold War bloc’s divide-and-rule Hybrid War on Russia. The Ukrainian Civil War therefore placed Russia in a strategically disadvantageous position that forced President Putin to act.

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These are author’s personal views. AscentPost doesn’t take the responsibility for anything said directly or indirectly by the author.

By Andrew Korybko

I'm a Moscow-based American political analyst specializing in the global systemic transition to multipolarity.

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