President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin


Mother Russia

Vladimir Putin -

75th Anniversary of the Great Victory Shared Responsibility to History and Our Future

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Vladimir Putin - The Real Lessons of the 75th Anniversary of World War II

by Vladimir Putin

Seventy-five years have passed since the end of the Great Patriotic War. Several generations have grown up over the years. The political map of the planet has changed. The Soviet Union that claimed an epic, crushing victory over Nazism and saved the entire world is gone. Besides, the events of that war have long become a distant memory, even for its participants. So why does Russia celebrate the ninth of May as the biggest holiday? Why does life almost come to a halt on June 22? And why does one feel a lump rise in their throat?

They usually say that the war has left a deep imprint on every family's history. Behind these words, there are fates of millions of people, their sufferings and the pain of loss. Behind these words, there is also the pride, the truth and the memory.

For my parents, the war meant the terrible ordeals of the Siege of Leningrad where my two-year-old brother Vitya died. It was the place where my mother miraculously managed to survive. My father, despite being exempt from active duty, volunteered to defend his hometown. He made the same decision as millions of Soviet citizens. He fought at the Nevsky Pyatachok bridgehead and was severely wounded. And the more years pass, the more I feel the need to talk to my parents and learn more about the war period of their lives. However, I no longer have the opportunity to do so. This is the reason why I treasure in my heart those conversations I had with my father and mother on this subject, as well as the little emotion they showed.

People of my age and I believe it is important that our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren understand the torment and hardships their ancestors had to endure. They need to understand how their ancestors managed to persevere and win. Where did their sheer, unbending willpower that amazed and fascinated the whole world come from? Sure, they were defending their home, their children, loved ones and families. However, what they shared was the love for their homeland, their Motherland. That deep-seated, intimate feeling is fully reflected in the very essence of our nation and became one of the decisive factors in its heroic, sacrificial fight against the Nazis.

I often wonder: What would today's generation do? How will it act when faced with a crisis situation? I see young doctors, nurses, sometimes fresh graduates that go to the "red zone" to save lives. I see our servicemen that fight international terrorism in the Northern Caucasus and fought to the bitter end in Syria. They are so young. Many servicemen who were part of the legendary, immortal 6th Paratroop Company were 19-20 years old. But all of them proved that they deserved to inherit the feat of the warriors of our homeland that defended it during the Great Patriotic War.

This is why I am confident that one of the characteristic features of the peoples of Russia is to fulfill their duty without feeling sorry for themselves when the circumstances so demand. Such values as selflessness, patriotism, love for their home, their family and Motherland remain fundamental and integral to the Russian society to this day. These values are, to a large extent, the backbone of our country's sovereignty.

Nowadays, we have new traditions created by the people, such as the Immortal Regiment. This is the memory march that symbolizes our gratitude, as well as the living connection and the blood ties between generations. Millions of people come out to the streets carrying the photographs of their relatives that defended their Motherland and defeated the Nazis. This means that their lives, their ordeals and sacrifices, as well as the Victory that they left to us will never be forgotten.

We have a responsibility to our past and our future to do our utmost to prevent those horrible tragedies from happening ever again. Hence, I was compelled to come out with an article about World War II and the Great Patriotic War. I have discussed this idea on several occasions with world leaders, and they have showed their support. At the summit of CIS leaders held at the end of last year, we all agreed on one thing: it is essential to pass on to future generations the memory of the fact that the Nazis were defeated first and foremost by the Soviet people and that representatives of all republics of the Soviet Union fought side by side together in that heroic battle, both on the frontlines and in the rear. During that summit, I also talked with my counterparts about the challenging pre-war period.

That conversation caused a stir in Europe and the world. It means that it is indeed high time that we revisited the lessons of the past. At the same time, there were many emotional outbursts, poorly disguised insecurities and loud accusations that followed. Acting out of habit, certain politicians rushed to claim that Russia was trying to rewrite history. However, they failed to rebut a single fact or refute a single argument. It is indeed difficult, if not impossible, to argue with the original documents that, by the way, can be found not only in the Russian, but also in the foreign archives.

Thus, there is a need to further examine the reasons that caused the world war and reflect on its complicated events, tragedies and victories, as well as its lessons, both for our country and the entire world. And like I said, it is crucial to rely exclusively on archive documents and contemporary evidence while avoiding any ideological or politicized speculations.

I would like to once again recall the obvious fact. The root causes of World War II mainly stem from the decisions made after World War I. The Treaty of Versailles became a symbol of grave injustice for Germany. It basically implied that the country was to be robbed, being forced to pay enormous reparations to the Western allies that drained its economy. French marshal Ferdinand Foch who served as the Supreme Allied Commander gave a prophetic description of that Treaty: "This is not peace. It is an armistice for twenty years."

It was the national humiliation that became a fertile ground for radical sentiments of revenge in Germany. The Nazis skillfully played on people's emotions and built their propaganda promising to deliver Germany from the "legacy of Versailles" and restore the country to its former power while essentially pushing German people into war. Paradoxically, the Western states, particularly the United Kingdom and the United States, directly or indirectly contributed to this. Their financial and industrial enterprises actively invested in German factories and plants manufacturing military products. Besides, many people in the aristocracy and political establishment supported radical, far-right and nationalist movements that were on the rise both in Germany and in Europe.

The "Versailles world order" caused numerous implicit controversies and apparent conflicts. They revolved around the borders of new European states randomly set by the victors in World War I. That boundary delimitation was almost immediately followed by territorial disputes and mutual claims that turned into "time bombs".

One of the major outcomes of World War I was the establishment of the League of Nations. There were high expectations for that international organization to ensure lasting peace and collective security. It was a progressive idea that, if followed through consistently, could actually prevent the horrors of a global war from happening again. However, the League of Nations dominated by the victorious powers of France and the United Kingdom proved ineffective and just got swamped by pointless discussions. The League of Nations and the European continent in general turned a deaf ear to the repeated calls of the Soviet Union to establish an equitable collective security system, and sign an Eastern European pact and a Pacific pact to prevent aggression. These proposals were disregarded.

The League of Nations also failed to prevent conflicts in various parts of the world, such as the attack of Italy on Ethiopia, the civil war in Spain, the Japanese aggression against China and the Anschluss of Austria. Furthermore, in case of the Munich Betrayal that, in addition to Hitler and Mussolini, involved British and French leaders, Czechoslovakia was taken apart with the full approval of the League of Nations. I would like to point out in this regard that, unlike many other European leaders of that time, Stalin did not disgrace himself by meeting with Hitler who was known among the Western nations as quite a reputable politician and was a welcome guest in the European capitals.

Poland was also engaged in the partition of Czechoslovakia along with Germany. They decided together in advance who would get what Czechoslovak territories. On September 20, 1938, Polish Ambassador to Germany Józef Lipski reported to Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland Józef Beck on the following assurances made by Hitler: "…in case of a conflict between Poland and Czechoslovakia over our interests in Teschen, the Reich would stand by Poland." The Nazi leader even prompted and advised that Poland started to act "only after the Germans occupy the Sudetes."

Poland was aware that without Hitler's support, its annexationist plans were doomed to fail. I would like to quote in this regard a record of the conversation between German Ambassador to Warsaw Hans-Adolf von Moltke and Józef Beck that took place on October 1, 1938, and was focused on the Polish-Czech relations and the position of the Soviet Union in this matter. It says: "Mr. Beck expressed real gratitude for the loyal treatment accorded [to] Polish interests at the Munich conference, as well as the sincerity of relations during the Czech conflict. The attitude of the Führer and Chancellor was fully appreciated by the Government and the public [of Poland]."

The partition of Czechoslovakia was brutal and cynical. Munich destroyed even the formal, fragile guarantees that remained on the continent. It showed that mutual agreements were worthless. It was the Munich Betrayal that served as a "trigger" and made the great war in Europe inevitable.

Today, European politicians, and Polish leaders in particular, wish to sweep the Munich Betrayal under the carpet. Why? The fact that their countries once broke their commitments and supported the Munich Betrayal, with some of them even participating in divvying up the take, is not the only reason. Another is that it is kind of embarrassing to recall that during those dramatic days of 1938, the Soviet Union was the only one to stand up for Czechoslovakia.

The Soviet Union, in accordance with its international obligations, including agreements with France and Czechoslovakia, tried to prevent the tragedy from happening. Meanwhile, Poland, in pursuit of its interests, was doing its utmost to hamper the establishment of a collective security system in Europe. Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Józef Beck wrote about it directly in his letter of September 19, 1938 to the aforementioned Ambassador Józef Lipski before his meeting with Hitler: "…in the past year, the Polish government rejected four times the proposal to join the international interfering in defense of Czechoslovakia."

Britain, as well as France, which was at the time the main ally of the Czechs and Slovaks, chose to withdraw their guarantees and abandon this Eastern European country to its fate. In so doing, they sought to direct the attention of the Nazis eastward so that Germany and the Soviet Union would inevitably clash and bleed each other white.

That is the essence of the western policy of appeasement, which was pursued not only towards the Third Reich but also towards other participants of the
so-called Anti-Comintern Pact – the fascist Italy and militarist Japan. In the Far East, this policy culminated in the conclusion of the Anglo-Japanese agreement in the summer of 1939, which gave Tokyo a free hand in China. The leading European powers were unwilling to recognize the mortal danger posed by Germany and its allies to the whole world. They were hoping that they themselves would be left untouched by the war.

The Munich Betrayal showed to the Soviet Union that the Western countries would deal with security issues without taking its interests into account. In fact, they could even create an anti-Soviet front, if needed.

Nevertheless, the Soviet Union did its utmost to use every chance of creating an anti-Hitler coalition. Despite – I will say it again – the double‑dealing on the part of the Western countries. For instance, the intelligence services reported to the Soviet leadership detailed information on the behind-the- scenes contacts between Britain and Germany in the summer of 1939. The important thing is that those contacts were quite active and practically coincided with the tripartite negotiations between France, Great Britain and the USSR, which were, on the contrary, deliberately protracted by the Western partners. In this connection, I will cite a document from the British archives. It contains instructions to the British military mission that came to Moscow in August 1939. It directly states that the delegation was to proceed with negotiations very slowly, and that the Government of the United Kingdom was not ready to assume any obligations spelled out in detail and limiting their freedom of action under any circumstances. I will also note that, unlike the British and French delegations, the Soviet delegation was headed by top commanders of the Red Army, who had the necessary authority to "sign a military convention on the organization of military defense of England, France and the USSR against aggression in Europe."

Poland played its role in the failure of those negotiations as it did not want to have any obligations to the Soviet side. Even under pressure from their Western allies, the Polish leadership rejected the idea of joint action with the Red Army to fight against the Wehrmacht. It was only when they learned of the arrival of Ribbentrop to Moscow that J. Beck reluctantly and not directly, through French diplomats, notified the Soviet side: "… in the event of joint action against the German aggression, cooperation between Poland and the Soviet Union is not out of the question, in technical circumstances which remain to be agreed." At the same time, he explained to his colleagues: "… I agreed to this wording only for the sake of the tactics, and our core position in relation to the Soviet Union is final and remains unchanged."

In these circumstances, the Soviet Union signed the Non-Aggression Pact with Germany. It was practically the last among the European countries to do so. Besides, it was done in the face of a real threat of war on two fronts – with Germany in the west and with Japan in the east, where intense fighting on
the Khalkhin Gol River was already underway.

Stalin and his entourage, indeed, deserve many legitimate accusations. We remember the crimes committed by the regime against its own people and the horror of mass repressions. In other words, there are many things the Soviet leaders can be reproached for, but poor understanding of the nature of external threats is not one of them. They saw how attempts were made to leave the Soviet Union alone to deal with Germany and its allies. Bearing in mind this real threat, they sought to buy precious time needed to strengthen the country's defenses.

Nowadays, we hear lots of speculations and accusations against modern Russia in connection with the Non-Aggression Pact signed back then. Yes, Russia is the legal successor state to the USSR, and the Soviet period – with all its triumphs and tragedies – is an inalienable part of our thousand-year- long history. However, let us recall that the Soviet Union gave a legal and moral assessment of the so-called Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. The Supreme Soviet in its resolution of 24 December 1989 officially denounced the secret protocols as "an act of personal power" which in no way reflected "the will of the Soviet people who bear no responsibility for this collusion."

Yet other states have preferred to forget the agreements carrying signatures of the Nazis and Western politicians, not to mention giving legal or political assessments of such cooperation, including the silent acquiescence – or even direct abetment – of some European politicians in the barbarous plans of the Nazis. It will suffice to remember the cynical phrase said by Polish Ambassador to Germany J. Lipski during his conversation with Hitler on
20 September 1938: "…for solving the Jewish problem, we [the Poles] will build in his honor … a splendid monument in Warsaw."

Besides, we do not know if there were any secret "protocols" or annexes to agreements of a number of countries with the Nazis. The only thing that is left to do is to take their word for it. In particular, materials pertaining to the secret Anglo-German talks still have not been declassified. Therefore, we urge all states to step up the process of making their archives public and publishing previously unknown documents of the war and pre-war periods – the way Russia has done it in recent years. In this context, we are ready for broad cooperation and joint research projects engaging historians. But let us go back to the events immediately preceding the Second World War. It was naïve to believe that Hitler, once done with Czechoslovakia, would not make new territorial claims. This time the claims involved its recent accomplice in the partition of Czechoslovakia – Poland. Here, the legacy of Versailles, particularly the fate of the so-called Danzig Corridor, was yet again used as the pretext. The blame for the tragedy that Poland then suffered lies entirely with the Polish leadership, which had impeded the formation of a military alliance between Britain, France and the Soviet Union and relied on the help from its Western partners, throwing its own people under the steamroller of Hitler's machine of destruction.

The German offensive was mounted in full accordance with the blitzkrieg doctrine. Despite the fierce, heroic resistance of the Polish army, on
8 September 1939 – only a week after the war broke out – the German troops were on the approaches to Warsaw. By 17 September, the military and political leaders of Poland had fled to Romania, abandoning its people, who continued to fight against the invaders.

Poland's hope for help from its Western allies was in vain. After the war against Germany was declared, the French troops advanced only a few tens of kilometers deep into the German territory. All of it looked like a mere demonstration of vigorous action. Moreover, the Anglo-French Supreme War Council, holding its first meeting on 12 September 1939 in the French city of Abbeville, decided to call off the offensive altogether in view of the rapid developments in Poland. That was when the infamous Phony War started. What Britain and France did was a blatant betrayal of their obligations to Poland.

Later, during the Nuremberg trials, German generals explained their quick success in the East. The former chief of the operations staff of the German armed forces high command, General Alfred Jodl admitted: "… we did not suffer defeat as early as 1939 only because about 110 French and British divisions stationed in the west against 23 German divisions during our war with Poland remained absolutely idle."

I asked for retrieval from the archives of the whole body of materials pertaining to the contacts between the USSR and Germany in the dramatic days of August and September 1939. According to the documents, paragraph 2 of the Secret Protocol to the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact of 23 August 1939 stated that, in the event of territorial-political reorganization of the districts making up the Polish state, the border of the spheres of interest of the two countries would run "approximately along the Narew, Vistula and San rivers". In other words, the Soviet sphere of influence included not only the territories that were mostly home to Ukrainian and Belarusian population but also the historically Polish lands in the Vistula and Bug interfluve. This fact is known to very few these days.

Similarly, very few know that, immediately following the attack on Poland, in the early days of September 1939 Berlin strongly and repeatedly called on Moscow to join the military action. However, the Soviet leadership ignored those calls and planned to avoid engaging in the dramatic developments as long as possible.

It was only when it became absolutely clear that Great Britain and France were not going to help their ally and the Wehrmacht could swiftly occupy entire Poland and thus appear on the approaches to Minsk that the Soviet Union decided to send in, on the morning of 17 September, Red Army units into the so-called Eastern Borderlines, which nowadays form part of the territories of Belarus, Ukraine and Lithuania.

Obviously, there was no alternative. Otherwise, the USSR would face seriously increased risks because – I will say this again – the old Soviet- Polish border ran only within a few tens of kilometers of Minsk. The country would have to enter the inevitable war with the Nazis from very disadvantageous strategic positions, while millions of people of different nationalities, including the Jews living near Brest and Grodno, Przemyśl, Lvov and Wilno, would be left to die at the hands of the Nazis and their local accomplices – anti-Semites and radical nationalists.

The fact that the Soviet Union sought to avoid engaging in the growing conflict for as long as possible and was unwilling to fight side by side with Germany was the reason why the real contact between the Soviet and the German troops occurred much farther east than the borders agreed in the secret protocol. It was not on the Vistula River but closer to the so-called Curzon Line, which back in 1919 was recommended by the Triple Entente as the eastern border of Poland.

As is known, there is hardly any point in using the subjunctive mood when we speak of the past events. I will only say that, in September 1939, the Soviet leadership had an opportunity to move the western borders of the USSR even farther west, all the way to Warsaw, but decided against it.

The Germans suggested formalizing the new status quo. On September 28, 1939 Joachim von Ribbentrop and V.Molotov signed in Moscow the Boundary and Friendship Treaty between Germany and the Soviet Union, as well as the secret protocol on changing the state border, according to which the border was recognized at the demarcation line where the two armies de-facto stood.

In autumn 1939, the Soviet Union, pursuing its strategic military and defensive goals, started the process of the incorporation of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Their accession to the USSR was implemented on a contractual basis, with the consent of the elected authorities. This was in line with international and state law of that time. Besides, in October 1939, the city of Vilna and the surrounding area, which had previously been part of Poland, were returned to Lithuania. The Baltic republics within the USSR preserved their government bodies, language, and had representation in the higher state structures of the Soviet Union.

During all these months there was an ongoing invisible diplomatic and politico-military struggle and intelligence work. Moscow understood that it was facing a fierce and cruel enemy, and that a covert war against Nazism was already going on. And there is no reason to take official statements and formal protocol notes of that time as a proof of ‘friendship' between the USSR and Germany. The Soviet Union had active trade and technical contacts
not only with Germany, but with other countries as well. Whereas Hitler tried again and again to draw the Soviet Union into Germany's confrontation with the UK. But the Soviet government stood firm.

The last attempt to persuade the USSR to act together was made by Hitler during the visit of Molotov to Berlin in November 1940. But Molotov accurately followed Stalin's instructions and limited himself to a general discussion of the German idea of the Soviet Union joining the Tripartite Pact signed by Germany, Italy and Japan in September 1940 and directed against the UK and the USA. No wonder that already on November 17 Molotov gave
the following instructions to Soviet plenipotentiary representative in London Ivan Maisky: "For your information…No agreement was signed or was intended to be signed in Berlin. We just exchanged our views in Berlin…and that was all…Apparently, the Germans and the Japanese seem anxious to
push us towards the Gulf and India. We declined the discussion of this matter as we consider such advice on the part of Germany to be inappropriate." And on November 25 the Soviet leadership called it a day altogether by officially putting forward to Berlin the conditions that were unacceptable to the Nazis, including the withdrawal of German troops from Finland, mutual assistance treaty between Bulgaria and the USSR, and a number of others. Thus it deliberately excluded any possibility of joining the Pact. Such position definitely shaped the Fuehrer's intention to unleash a war against the USSR. And already in December, putting aside the warnings of his strategists about the disastrous danger of having a two-front war, Hitler approved the Barbarossa Plan. He did this with the knowledge that the Soviet Union was the major force that opposed him in Europe and that the upcoming battle in the East would decide the outcome of the world war. And he had no doubts as to the swiftness and success of the Moscow campaign.

And here I would like to highlight the following: Western countries, as a matter of fact, agreed at that time with the Soviet actions and recognized the Soviet Union's intention to ensure its national security. Indeed, back on October 1, 1939 Winston Churchill, the First Lord of the Admiralty back then, in his speech on the radio said, "Russia has pursued a cold policy of self- interest… But that the Russian armies should stand on this line [the new Western border is meant] was clearly necessary for the safety of Russia against the Nazi menace." On October 4, 1939 speaking in the House of Lords British Foreign Secretary Halifax said, "…it should be recalled that the Soviet government's actions were to move the border essentially to the line recommended at the Versailles Conference by Lord Curzon... I only cite historical facts and believe they are indisputable." Prominent British politician and statesman D. Lloyd George emphasized, "The Russian armies occupied the territories that are not Polish and that were forcibly seized by Poland after the First World War ... It would be an act of criminal insanity to put the Russian advancement on a par with the German one."

In informal communications with Soviet plenipotentiary representative Maisky, British diplomats and high-level politicians spoke even more openly. On October 17, 1939 Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs R. A. Butler confided him that the British government circles believed there could be no question of returning Western Ukraine and Belarus to Poland. According to him, if it had been possible to create an ethnographic Poland of a modest size with a guarantee not only of the USSR and Germany, but also of Britain and France, the British government would have considered itself quite satisfied. On October 27, 1939, Chamberlain's senior advisor H.Wilson said that Poland had to be restored as an independent state on its ethnographic basis, but without Western Ukraine and Belarus.

It is worth noting that in the course of these conversations the possibilities for improving British-Soviet relations were also being explored. These contacts to a large extent laid the foundation for future alliance and anti- Hitler coalition. Churchill stood out among other responsible and far-sighted politicians and, despite his infamous dislike for the USSR, had been in favour of cooperating with the Soviets even before. Back in May 1939, he said in the House of Commons, "We shall be in mortal danger if we fail to create a grand alliance against aggression. The worst folly would be to drive away any natural cooperation with Soviet Russia." And after the start of hostilities in Europe, at his meeting with Maisky on October 6, 1939 he confided that there were no serious contradictions between the UK and the USSR and, therefore, there was no reason for strained or unsatisfactory relations. He also mentioned that the British government was eager to develop trade relations and willing to discuss any other measures that might improve the relationships.

The Second World War did not happen overnight, nor did it start unexpectedly or all of a sudden. And German aggression against Poland was not out of nowhere. It was the result of a number of tendencies and factors of the world policy of that time. All pre-war events fell into place to form one fatal chain. But, undoubtedly, the main factors that predetermined the greatest tragedy in the history of mankind were state egoism, cowardice, appeasement of the aggressor who was gaining strength, and unwillingness of political elites to search for a compromise.

Therefore, it is unfair to claim that the two-day visit to Moscow of Nazi Foreign Minister Ribbentrop was the main reason for the start of the Second World War. All the leading countries are to a certain extent responsible for its outbreak. Each of them made fatal mistakes, arrogantly believing that they could outsmart others, secure unilateral advantages for themselves or stay away from the impending world catastrophe. And this short-sightedness, the refusal to create a collective security system cost millions of lives and tremendous losses.

Saying this, I by no means intend to take on the role of a judge, to accuse or acquit anyone, let alone initiate a new round of international information confrontation in the historical field that could set countries and peoples at loggerheads. I believe that it is academics with a wide representation of respected scientists from different countries of the world who should search for a balanced assessment of what happened. We all need the truth and objectivity. On my part, I have always encouraged my colleagues to build a calm, open and trust-based dialogue, to look at the common past in a self- critical and unbiased manner. Such an approach will make it possible not to repeat the errors committed back then and to ensure peaceful and successful development for years to come. However, many of our partners are not yet ready for joint work. On the contrary, pursuing their goals, they increase the number and the scope of information attacks against our country, trying to make us provide excuses and feel guilty, and adopt thoroughly hypocritical and politically motivated declarations. Thus, for example, the resolution on the Importance of European Remembrance for the Future of Europe approved by the European Parliament on 19 September 2019 directly accused the USSR together with the Nazi Germany of unleashing the Second World War. Needless to say, there is no mention of Munich in it whatsoever.

I believe that such ‘paperwork' – for I cannot call this resolution a document – which is clearly intended to provoke a scandal, is fraught with real and dangerous threats. Indeed, it was adopted by a highly respectable institution. And what does that show? Regrettably, this reveals a deliberate policy aimed at destroying the post-war world order whose creation was a matter of honour and responsibility for States a number of representatives of which voted today in favour of this deceitful resolution. Thus, they challenged the conclusions of the Nuremberg Tribunal and the efforts of the international community to create after the victorious 1945 universal international institutions. Let me remind you in this regard that the process of European integration itself leading to the establishment of relevant structures, including the European Parliament, became possible only due to the lessons learnt form the past and its accurate legal and political assessment. And those who deliberately put this consensus into question undermine the foundations of the entire post-war Europe.

Apart from posing a threat to the fundamental principles of the world order, this also raises certain moral and ethical issues. Desecrating and insulting the memory is mean. Meanness can be deliberate, hypocritical and pretty much intentional as in the situation when declarations commemorating the
75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War mention all participants in the anti-Hitler coalition except for the Soviet Union. Meanness can be cowardly as in the situation when monuments erected in honour of those who fought against Nazism are demolished and these shameful acts are justified by the false slogans of the fight against an unwelcome ideology and alleged occupation. Meanness can also be bloody as in the situation when those who come out against neo-Nazis and Bandera's successors are killed and burned. Once again, meanness can have different manifestations, but this does not make it less disgusting.

Neglecting the lessons of history inevitably leads to a harsh payback. We will firmly uphold the truth based on documented historical facts. We will continue to be honest and impartial about the events of World War II. This includes a large-scale project to establish Russia's largest collection of archival records, film and photo materials about the history of World War II and the pre‑war period.

Such work is already underway. Many new, recently discovered or declassified materials were also used in the preparation of this article. In this regard, I can state with all responsibility that there are no archive documents that would confirm the assumption that the USSR intended to start a preventive war against Germany. The Soviet military leadership indeed followed a doctrine according to which, in the event of aggression, the Red Army would promptly confront the enemy, go on the offensive and wage war on enemy territory. However, such strategic plans did not imply any
intention to attack Germany first.

Of course, military planning documents, letters of instruction of Soviet and German headquarters are now available to historians. Finally, we know the true course of events. From the perspective of this knowledge, many argue about the actions, mistakes and misjudgment of the country's military and political leadership. In this regard, I will say one thing: along with a huge flow of misinformation of various kinds, Soviet leaders also received true information about the upcoming Nazi aggression. And in the pre-war months, they took steps to improve the combat readiness of the country, including the secret recruitment of a part of those liable for military duty for military training and the redeployment of units and reserves from internal military districts to western borders.

The war did not come as a surprise, people were expecting it, preparing for it. But the Nazi attack was truly unprecedented in terms of its destructive
power. On June 22, 1941, the Soviet Union faced the strongest, most mobilized and skilled army in the world with the industrial, economic and military potential of almost all Europe working for it. Not only the Wehrmacht, but also German satellites, military contingents of many other states of the European continent, took part in this deadly invasion.

The most serious military defeats in 1941 brought the country to the brink of catastrophe. Combat power and control had to be restored by extreme means, nation-wide mobilization and intensification of all efforts of the state and
the people. In summer 1941, millions of citizens, hundreds of factories and industries began to be evacuated under enemy fire to the east of the country. The manufacture of weapons and munition, that had started to be supplied to the front already in the first military winter, was launched in the shortest possible time, and by 1943, the rates of military production of Germany and its allies were exceeded. Within six months, the Soviet people did something that seemed impossible. Both on the front lines and the home front. It is still hard to realize, understand and imagine what incredible efforts, courage, dedication these greatest achievements were worth.

The tremendous power of Soviet society, united by the desire to protect their native land, rose against the powerful, armed to the teeth, cold-blooded Nazi invading machine. It stood up to take revenge on the enemy, who had broken, trampled peaceful life, people's plans and hopes.

Of course, fear, confusion and desperation were taking over some people during this terrible and bloody war. There were betrayal and desertion. The harsh split caused by the revolution and the Civil War, nihilism, mockery of national history, traditions and faith that the Bolsheviks tried to impose, especially in the first years after coming to power – all of this had its impact. But the general attitude of the absolute majority of Soviet citizens and our compatriots who found themselves abroad was different – to save and protect the Motherland. It was a real and irrepressible impulse. People were looking for support in true patriotic values.

The Nazi "strategists" were convinced that a huge multinational state could easily be brought to heel. They thought that the sudden outbreak of the war, its mercilessness and unbearable hardships would inevitably exacerbate inter-ethnic relations. And that the country could be split into pieces. Hitler clearly stated: "Our policy towards the peoples living in the vastness of Russia should be to promote any form of disagreement and division". But from the very first days, it was clear that the Nazi plan had failed. The Brest Fortress was protected to the last drop of blood by its defenders of more than 30 ethnicities. Throughout the war, the feat of the Soviet people knew no national boundaries – both in large-scale decisive battles and in the protection of every foothold, every meter of native land.

The Volga region and the Urals, Siberia and the Far East, the republics of Central Asia and Transcaucasia became home to millions of evacuees. Their residents shared everything they had and provided all the support they could. Friendship of peoples and mutual help became a real indestructible fortress for the enemy.

The Soviet Union and the Red Army, no matter what anyone is trying to prove today, made the main and crucial contribution to the defeat of Nazism. These were heroes who fought to the end surrounded by the enemy at Bialystok and Mogilev, Uman and Kiev, Vyazma and Kharkov. They launched attacks near Moscow and Stalingrad, Sevastopol and Odessa, Kursk and Smolensk. They liberated Warsaw, Belgrade, Vienna and Prague. They stormed Koenigsberg and Berlin.

We contend for genuine, unvarnished, or whitewashed truth about war. This national, human truth, which is hard, bitter and merciless, has been handed down to us by writers and poets who walked through fire and hell of front trials. For my generation, as well as for others, their honest and deep stories, novels, piercing trench prose and poems have left their mark in my soul forever. Honoring veterans who did everything they could for the Victory and remembering those who died on the battlefield has become our moral duty.

And today, the simple and great in its essence lines of Alexander Tvardovsky's poem "I was killed near Rzhev ..." dedicated to the participants of the bloody and brutal battle of the Great Patriotic War in the center of the Soviet-German front line are astonishing. Only in the battles for Rzhev and the Rzhevsky Salient from October 1941 to March 1943, the Red Army lost 1,154, 698 people, including wounded and missing. For the first time, I call out these terrible, tragic and far from complete figures collected from archive sources. I do it to honor the memory of the feat of known and nameless heroes, who for various reasons were undeservingly, and unfairly little talked about or not mentioned at all in the post-war years.

Let me cite you another document. This is a report of February 1954 on reparation from Germany by the Allied Commission on Reparations headed by Ivan Maisky. The Commission's task was to define a formula according to which defeated Germany would have to pay for the damages sustained by the victor powers. The Commission concluded that "the number of soldier-days spent by Germany on the Soviet front is at least 10 times higher than on all other allied fronts. The Soviet front also had to handle four-fifths of German tanks and about two-thirds of German aircraft." On the whole, the USSR accounted for about 75 percent of all military efforts undertaken by the anti- Hitler coalition. During the war period, the Red Army "ground up" 626 divisions of the Axis states, of which 508 were German.

On April 28, 1942, Franklin D. Roosevelt said in his address to the American nation: "These Russian forces have destroyed and are destroying more armed power of our enemies – troops, planes, tanks, and guns – than all the other United Nations put together". Winston Churchill in his message to Joseph Stalin of September 27, 1944, wrote "that it is the Russian army that tore the guts out of the German military machine…".

Such an assessment has resonated throughout the world. Because these words are the great truth, which no one doubted then. Almost 27 million Soviet citizens lost their lives on the fronts, in German prisons, starved to death and were bombed, died in ghettos and furnaces of the Nazi death camps. The USSR lost one in seven of its citizens, the UK lost one in 127, and the USA lost one in 320. Unfortunately, this figure of the Soviet Union's hardest and grievous losses is not exhaustive. The painstaking work should be continued to restore the names and fates of all who have perished – Red Army soldiers, partisans, underground fighters, prisoners of war and concentration camps, and civilians killed by the death squads. It is our duty.
And here, members of the search movement, military‑patriotic and volunteer associations, such projects as the electronic database "Pamyat Naroda", which contains archival documents, play a special role. And, surely, close international cooperation is needed in such a common humanitarian task.

The efforts of all countries and peoples who fought against a common enemy resulted in victory. The British army protected its homeland from invasion, fought the Nazis and their satellites in the Mediterranean and North Africa.

American and British troops liberated Italy and opened the Second Front. The US dealt powerful and crushing strikes against the aggressor in the Pacific Ocean. We remember the tremendous sacrifices made by the Chinese people and their great role in defeating Japanese militarists. Let us not forget the fighters of Fighting France, who did not fall for the shameful capitulation
and continued to fight against the Nazis.

We will also always be grateful for the assistance rendered by the Allies in providing the Red Army with ammunition, raw materials, food and equipment. And that help was significant – about 7 percent of the total military production of the Soviet Union.

The core of the anti-Hitler coalition began to take shape immediately after the attack on the Soviet Union where the United States and Britain unconditionally supported it in the fight against Hitler's Germany. At the Tehran conference in 1943, Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill formed an alliance of great powers, agreed to elaborate coalition diplomacy and a joint strategy in the fight against a common deadly threat. The leaders of the Big Three had a clear understanding that the unification of industrial, resource and military capabilities of the USSR, the United States and the UK will give unchallenged supremacy over the enemy.

The Soviet Union fully fulfilled its obligations to its allies and always offered a helping hand. Thus, the Red Army supported the landing of the Anglo- American troops in Normandy by carrying out a large-scale Operation Bagration in Belarus. In January 1945, having broken through to the Oder River, it put an end to the last powerful offensive of the Wehrmacht on the Western Front in the Ardennes. Three months after the victory over Germany, the USSR, in full accordance with the Yalta agreements, declared war on Japan and defeated the million-strong Kwantung Army.

Back in July 1941, the Soviet leadership declared that the purpose of the War against fascist oppressors was not only the elimination of the threat looming over our country, but also help for all the peoples of Europe suffering under the yoke of German fascism. By the middle of 1944, the enemy was expelled from virtually all of the Soviet territory. However, the enemy had to be finished off in its lair. And so the Red Army started its liberation mission in Europe. It saved entire nations from destruction and enslavement, and from the horror of the Holocaust. They were saved at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives of Soviet soldiers.

It is also important not to forget about the enormous material assistance that the USSR provided to the liberated countries in eliminating the threat of hunger and in rebuilding their economies and infrastructure. That was being done at the time when ashes stretched for thousands of miles all the way
from Brest to Moscow and the Volga. For instance, in May 1945, the Austrian government asked the USSR to provide assistance with food, as it "had no idea how to feed its population in the next seven weeks before the new harvest." The state chancellor of the provisional government of the Austrian Republic Karl Renner described the consent of the Soviet leadership to send food as a saving act that the Austrians would never forget.

The Allies jointly established the International Military Tribunal to punish Nazi political and war criminals. Its decisions contained a clear legal qualification of crimes against humanity, such as genocide, ethnic and religious cleansing, anti-Semitism and xenophobia. Directly and unambiguously, the Nuremberg Tribunal also condemned the accomplices of the Nazis, collaborators of various kinds.

This shameful phenomenon manifested itself in all European countries. Such figures as Pétain, Quisling, Vlasov, Bandera, their henchmen and followers – though they were disguised as fighters for national independence or freedom from communism – are traitors and slaughterers. In inhumanity, they often exceeded their masters. In their desire to serve, as part of special punitive groups they willingly executed the most inhuman orders. They were responsible for such bloody events as the shootings of Babi Yar, the Volhynia massacre, burnt Khatyn, acts of destruction of Jews in Lithuania and Latvia.

Today as well, our position remains unchanged – there can be no excuse for the criminal acts of Nazi collaborators, there is no statute of limitations for them. It is therefore bewildering that in certain countries those who are smirched with cooperation with the Nazis are suddenly equated with the Second World War veterans. I believe that it is unacceptable to equate liberators with occupants. And I can only regard the glorification of Nazi collaborators as a betrayal of the memory of our fathers and grandfathers. A betrayal of the ideals that united peoples in the fight against Nazism.

At that time, the leaders of the USSR, the United States, and the UK faced, without exaggeration, a historic task. Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill represented the countries with different ideologies, state aspirations, interests, cultures, but demonstrated great political will, rose above the contradictions and preferences and put the true interests of peace at the forefront. As a result, they were able to come to an agreement and achieve a solution from which all of humanity has benefited.

The victorious powers left us a system that has become the quintessence of the intellectual and political quest of several centuries. A series of conferences – Tehran, Yalta, San Francisco and Potsdam – laid the foundation of a world that for 75 years had no global war, despite the sharpest contradictions.

Historical revisionism, the manifestations of which we now observe in the West, and primarily with regard to the subject of the Second World War and its outcome, is dangerous because it grossly and cynically distorts the understanding of the principles of peaceful development, laid down at the Yalta and San Francisco conferences in 1945. The major historic achievement of Yalta and other decisions of that time is the agreement to create a mechanism that would allow the leading powers to remain within the framework of diplomacy in resolving their differences.

The twentieth century brought large-scale and comprehensive global conflicts, and in 1945 the nuclear weapons capable of physically destroying the Earth also entered the scene. In other words, the settlement of disputes by force has become prohibitively dangerous. And the victors in the Second World War understood that. They understood and were aware of their own responsibility towards humanity.

The cautionary tale of the League of Nations was taken into account in 1945. The structure of the UN Security Council was developed in a way to make peace guarantees as concrete and effective as possible. That is how the institution of the permanent members of the Security Council and the right of the veto as their privilege and responsibility came into being.

What is veto power in the UN Security Council? To put it bluntly, it is the only reasonable alternative to a direct confrontation between major countries. It
is a statement by one of the five powers that a decision is unacceptable to it and is contrary to its interests and its ideas about the right approach. And other countries, even if they do not agree, take this position for granted, abandoning any attempts to realize their unilateral efforts. So, in one way or another, it is necessary to seek compromises.

A new global confrontation started almost immediately after the end of the Second World War and was at times very fierce. And the fact that the Cold War did not grow into the Third World War has become a clear testimony of the effectiveness of the agreements concluded by the Big Three. The rules of conduct agreed upon during the creation of the United Nations made it possible to further minimize risks and keep confrontation under control.

Of course, we can see that the UN system currently experiences certain tension in its work and is not as effective as it could be. But the UN still performs its primary function. The principles of the UN Security Council are a unique mechanism for preventing a major war or global conflict.

The calls that have been made quite often in recent years to abolish the veto power, to deny special opportunities to permanent members of the Security Council are actually irresponsible. After all, if that happens, the United Nations would in essence become the League of Nations – a meeting for empty talk without any leverage on the world processes. How it ended is well known. That is why the victorious powers approached the formation of the new system of the world order with utmost seriousness seeking to avoid repetition of the mistakes of their predecessors.

The creation of the modern system of international relations is one of the major outcomes of the Second World War. Even the most insurmountable contradictions – geopolitical, ideological, economic – do not prevent us from finding forms of peaceful coexistence and interaction, if there is the desire and will to do so. Today the world is going through quite a turbulent time. Everything is changing, from the global balance of power and influence to the social, economic and technological foundations of societies, nations and even continents. In the past epochs, shifts of such magnitude have almost never happened without major military conflicts. Without a power struggle to build a new global hierarchy. Thanks to the wisdom and farsightedness of the political figures of the Allied Powers, it was possible to create a system that has restrained from extreme manifestations of such objective competition, historically inherent in the world development.

It is a duty of ours – all those who take political responsibility and primarily representatives of the victorious powers in the Second World War – to guarantee that this system is maintained and improved. Today, as in 1945, it is important to demonstrate political will and discuss the future together. Our colleagues – Mr. Xi Jinping, Mr. Macron, Mr. Trump and Mr. Johnson – supported the Russian initiative to hold a meeting of the leaders of the five nuclear-weapon States, permanent members of the Security Council. We thank them for this and hope that such a face-to-face meeting could take place as soon as possible.

What is our vision of the agenda for the upcoming summit? First of all, in our opinion, it would be useful to discuss steps to develop collective principles in world affairs. To speak frankly about the issues of preserving peace, strengthening global and regional security, strategic arms control, as well as joint efforts in countering terrorism, extremism and other major challenges and threats.

A special item on the agenda of the meeting is the situation in the global economy. And above all, overcoming the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Our countries are taking unprecedented measures to protect the health and lives of people and to support citizens who have found themselves in difficult living situations. Our ability to work together and in concert, as real partners, will show how severe the impact of the pandemic will be, and how quickly the global economy will emerge from the recession. Moreover, it is unacceptable to turn the economy into an instrument of pressure and confrontation. Popular issues include environmental protection and combating climate change, as well as ensuring the security of the global information space.

The agenda proposed by Russia for the upcoming summit of the Five is extremely important and relevant both for our countries and for the entire world. And we have specific ideas and initiatives on all the items.

There can be no doubt that the summit of Russia, China, France, the United States, and the UK can play an important role in finding common answers to modern challenges and threats, and will demonstrate a common commitment to the spirit of alliance, to those high humanist ideals and values for which our fathers and grandfathers were fighting shoulder to shoulder.

Drawing on a shared historical memory, we can trust each other and must do so. That will serve as a solid basis for successful negotiations and concerted action for the sake of enhancing the stability and security on the planet and for the sake of prosperity and well-being of all States. Without exaggeration, it is our common duty and responsibility towards the entire world, towards the present and future generations.

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08-27-2020 CIA/SBU Tricked Russian PMC Wagner into Going to Belarus

Путин заявил о причастности США к спецоперации с 33 "чоповцами" в Минске

Putin: Detention of Russian citizens in Belarus set up by Ukrainian and US intelligence

MOSCOW, August 27. /TASS/. The detention of 33 Russian citizens in Belarus in late July was set up by Ukrainian and US intelligence agencies, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with Rossiya-24 channel on Thursday.

"This is a joint operation of Ukrainian and American intelligence agencies. This is known on good authority now. Some participants of this process, observers, well-informed people do not even hide this at this point," the Russian president said, commenting on the incident.

Putin added that the detained citizens were headed for Latin America and the Middle East for "absolutely legal work."

"However, they were dragged on Belarusian territory and painted as a potential force used to destabilize the situation during the election campaign, which was absolutely untrue," the president explained. "I would like to note once again that those people were on their way to work in a third country. They were lured there, dragged over the border. Our border officials did not let them out, by the way, they could not have entered. However, they were actually brought in using fake documents."

On July 29, 32 Russian citizens were apprehended near Minsk, and one more was detained in southern Belarus. In his address to the nation and the parliament on August 4, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said the Russians were deliberately deployed to his country. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the claims that Russia might have sent its citizens to Belarus to destabilize the situation in the republic.

For its part, Ukraine claimed that 28 detained citizens had taken part in military activity in Donbass, with pending criminal proceedings launched against them in Ukraine.

On August 14, Minsk handed over the detained citizens to Moscow. Russian Ambassador to Minsk Dmitry Mezentsev later stated that the Russians had been returned in strict correspondence with the norms of international law, stressing that professional cooperation between the country’s prosecution bodies helped carry out this legal procedure.

Interview with Rossiya TV channel

Interview with Rossiya TV channel

Sergei Brilyov: Good afternoon, Mr President.

Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon.

Sergei Brilyov: No matter what else is happening, and no matter what area of life we discuss, this nasty coronavirus always looms somewhere in the background.

Vladimir Putin: That’s true.

Sergei Brilyov: What do you think about the notorious second wave that scares so many people?

Vladimir Putin: What is the second wave? We just talk about it in our everyday conversations or the media talks about the second wave.

Sergei Brilyov: Well, all of us have learned something over these past months, and the second wave has become a set phrase.

Vladimir Putin: A bit, yes, this is true.

In reality, this implies the development of an epidemiological situation. This is the terminology that the specialists suggest we use.

Sergei Brilyov: The situation is getting worse in Europe, more cases are being recorded.

Vladimir Putin: Of course, it is obvious, if we consider that it is the holiday season, and there are many people on the beaches and crowds in bars and restaurants.

Sergei Brilyov: No discipline.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, of course. All this individualism and a reluctance to respect the interests of an overwhelming majority of society members leads to an outbreak and a relapse that we are witnessing in some countries. I hope that, first of all, this will not happen, and that Europe and other parts of the world will cope with the situation.

On the whole, quite a few people in Russia have fallen ill, but we have one of the lowest mortality rates in the world. This is nothing but a manifestation of the national healthcare system’s readiness, our ability to mobilise and the timely nature of decisions to neutralise threats.

I would like to once again express my admiration with the work of our medics. In general, it is a tradition of all people in Russia, including Russians and other ethnic groups, to marshal their resources at the time of trouble. This is what happened this time as well. However, we must also give credit to the federal and regional authorities, which summoned the necessary resources for dealing with the main goals.

And then, as I have said more than once, we focused our attention on what matters the most – the life and health of our people. These common efforts and targeted and, as it turned out, very effective solutions have helped us to pass the peak of the epidemic and create conditions for further work.

However, I never miss an opportunity to say publicly…

Sergei Brilyov: You use this screen for doing this, for example, last Wednesday when you held a meeting with the Government.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, exactly. So, when I have an opportunity to say so publicly I use it, and I am going to use our conversation now to address the people and to ask them to keep in mind that the virus is still among us, even though this may mean certain discomfort. We must keep this in mind and, of course, try to comply with the restrictive measures suggested by our specialists.

This is really necessary now. The more disciplined we are, the sooner will we be able to resume normal life.

We are conducting numerous research projects, including into the so-called herd or community immunity. It is clear now that herd immunity has already exceeded 25 percent in eight Russian regions. Overall, this means that if we tread carefully, preventing another outbreak of the disease, it…

Sergei Brilyov: It will continue to gradually increase?

Vladimir Putin: Well, yes, it can increase, and I hope that it will, some day… We are seeing a decrease [in new cases] now, as we all know. But a day will come when the situation will fully stabilise, because, first, we have created the necessary number of specialised hospital beds, the necessary reserve of PPE, as well as medicines for combating the coronavirus infection. It is a well-known fact that we have registered a vaccine.

Sergei Brilyov: Let’s not rush forward: we will have a separate discussion about this.

Vladimir Putin: All right.

In any case, we have created this arsenal, and we can make use of it. Research is ongoing, and our specialists have determined what should be done and how to act so that the disease takes the mildest possible course and ends without serious consequences. And in the future we will certainly make use of every element of the knowledge we have accumulated.

Sergei Brilyov: Mr President, a few days ago I had a feeling that I had changed jobs. It happened when you made the announcement on the vaccine.

My friends from Latin America (I happen to work with people from this continent) turned me into a staff reporter for television of Argentina, Uruguay and some other countries. Don't know but I'll allow myself to think so… Actually most of them told me that when you mentioned your daughter who had the injection [of the new Russian vaccine], this left a big impression on them. I know how rigorous you are when it comes to personal matters of this kind. But this announcement was instantly met with criticism, especially in the United States and Europe.

By the way, you had a meeting with Government members from this office, and discussed the second vaccine. But what do we hear in response? “What kind of a vaccine is it, if it went through just two phases of trials? What are these Russians talking about?” And it is true, there were only two phases of trials.

Vladimir Putin: No. We did everything that was required to register the vaccine, but with an asterisk, as we say. This means that this vaccine will have to undergo further research as part of a mass vaccination campaign. Therefore, we acted in strict compliance with the Russian law, and the Russian law is consistent with the international practices and regulations that apply in other countries.

The vaccine went through pre-clinical and clinical trials, and was tested on animals as well as volunteers. Our specialists are absolutely confident today that this vaccine creates lasting immunity and people get antibodies, as was the case with my daughter. This vaccine is also harmless. Thank goodness, my daughter feels fine.

Sergei Brilyov: Did she seek your advice on this? Of course, she is an adult.

Vladimir Putin: She is an adult. She just said that she took this decision.

Sergei Brilyov: Was she a volunteer or was this decision linked to her job?

Vladimir Putin: She volunteered, and considering her profession she needed it.

Sergei Brilyov: Are we talking about the one who works in the biomedical sector?

Vladimir Putin: She works with many people, and in order to work normally, she needed a sense of security.

As I mentioned, her temperature and was 38.4 the first day, and slightly above 37 the next day, that was it. After the second injection, 21 days later, she also had a slight temperature, but everything is fine. I just spoke with her by phone. She is well. Thank goodness, everything is fine.

To reiterate, research will continue, but in this country, everything takes place within Russian law, which is quite in line with international practices. In September, we should have another vaccine. If the drug we are talking about has been proposed, researched and registered by the Gamaleya Institute, then…

Sergei Brilyov: That is, Sputnik V.

Vladimir Putin: That’s right, Sputnik V. The second drug, as they have reported to me, will be ready in September. It is being developed by the well-known VEKTOR Institute in Novosibirsk. I am confident that the specialists at VEKTOR will make an excellent drug that will help people a lot.

Sergei Brilyov: Will they compete, these two drugs, or are they mutually complementary?

Vladimir Putin: You should ask the specialists. I think that they will most likely compete, because they should not be inferior to each other in terms of safety and effectiveness.

Sergei Brilyov: The economic decline.

In fact, analysts at Oxford some ten days ago and Moody’s during the last twenty-four hours provided figures on the Russian economic downturn. Generally, the Russian economy appears to be in a fair state in comparison with the United States. Regrettably, the rest of the world actually depends on the United States. But if we really look at what is taking place, how sensitive is it and what are the prospects for a recovery?

Vladimir Putin: The entire global economy is facing the aftermath of this epidemic. If we recall 2008 and 2009…

Sergei Brilyov: That crisis?

Vladimir Putin: Yes, that crisis. The global GDP fell by 0.1 percent. This time, according to the IMF, the World Bank and other organisations, there will be about 5 percent. It is a huge difference. Many people are comparing this with the Great Depression of the 1930’s or even with the post-war events.

Sergei Brilyov: Well, in the countries hit by the 1930’s depression, the decline is more significant than it was then.

Vladimir Putin: In the United States, for example, it is 9 [percent]. The forecasts for this country are 8.5 [percent], but our specialists believe the figure will be lower than that.

Sergei Brilyov: In the environs of 5 [percent], I believe.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, in the environs of 5 or 6 percent. The United States had 9.5 [percent] in the first six months, and the eurozone had minus 15 percent. Some experts – we know this well – say that this results from the difference in the structure of our economies.

Yes, to a certain degree, this seems to be so, but mostly this is the result of the Government’s decisions that are targeted and timely, something that is also of great importance, as I see it.

Of course, there are some inevitable problems. I know that some companies that were hit hard are not on the list of those receiving state assistance. And, of course, the Government should think about this and make the appropriate timely decisions.

On the whole, I repeat, support for small businesses and support for certain major sectors, including agriculture, the automotive industry, construction, etc, that employ hundreds of thousands and millions of people as part of co-production chains – all this was accomplished on time and yielded a positive effect.

As you can see, our key macroeconomic indicators remain sufficiently stable. Despite predictions of major fluctuations, the current inflation rate is just 3.4 percent. According to experts, it will stay at 3.4–3.41 percent.

Sergei Brilyov: And oil costs $46 once again.

Vladimir Putin: It would be better if it cost more.

Sergei Brilyov: But this is no what has been forecast initially.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, of course, but our reserves are also increasing despite all difficulties. This creates an additional safety cushion, which is important. It is not a cure-all against all troubles, but it is important. This makes us feel confident that, if need be, we can finance our social obligations.

All this means that, first of all, we believe that we have overcome all the main problems, and I hope that we will now start recovering gradually. On the whole, we do not differ much from other countries in this respect. I believe that this recovery will be guaranteed next year.

Sergei Brilyov: Indeed, may God give us all health in the direct sense of the word, plus economic health.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, of course.

Sergei Brilyov: Mr President, it is not only the purely economic things that affect the economy (for example, the oil prices returned to $46 as we predicted) but also political factors. Belarus is, certainly, a political factor.

Vladimir Putin: Of course.

Sergei Brilyov: We have seen numerous reports on your telephone conversations with European leaders. But these reports are usually just scanty press releases from the Kremlin Press Service. In fact, you have not yet publicly shared your view of the situation in detail. What do you think of the developments in Belarus?

Vladimir Putin: You know, I think that we have shown much more restraint and neutrality with respect to the events in Belarus than many other countries, both European and American ones, such as the United States.

In my opinion, we have indeed been covering the developments in Belarus quite objectively, from every angle, showing both sides. We believe that it is up to the Belarusian society and people themselves to deal with this. Although, certainly, we care about what is happening there.

This nation is very close to us and perhaps is the closest, both in terms of ethnic proximity, the language, the culture, the spiritual as well as other aspects. We have dozens or probably hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of direct family ties with Belarus and close industrial cooperation. Suffice it to say that, for example, Belarusian products account for more than 90 percent of the total agricultural imports on the Russian market.

Sergei Brilyov: You mean the Belarusian products imported to our country?

Vladimir Putin: Belarusian exports. If we look at other industries – for example, agricultural equipment manufacturing – the figures are similar. Therefore, of course, we care about what is happening there. But it is still up to the Belarusians to deal with this situation.

We most certainly hope that all the parties will have enough common sense to reach a solution in a peaceful way, without running to extremes. Of course, if the people take to the streets, it cannot be ignored. Everybody must listen to them and respond. By the way, the President of Belarus said that he is willing to consider conducting a constitutional reform, adopting a new Constitution, holding new parliamentary and presidential elections based on the new Constitution. But the effective Constitution must not be breached. Did you note that the Constitutional Court of Belarus issued a ruling, according to which it is absolutely unacceptable to establish supra-constitutional bodies which are not envisaged by the country’s basic law and which are trying to take over power. It is hard to disagree with this ruling.

Sergei Brilyov: I looked at what they are writing about Belarus abroad, and often it is not about ideology but simply about facts. A lot of foreign articles about the events in Belarus are accompanied by an explanation what Belarus is and where it is located. This is because as distinct from Russian citizens, many people there know little about it. And, of course, in Russia we remember the events not only after the election but also before it, in part, about the 33 guests at the Byelorusochka hotel and the Russian citizens that were detained.

Mr President, who do you think got into whose trap?

Vladimir Putin: Well, now it is obvious. This was an operation by secret services. The people you mentioned were used without their knowledge in order to move them to Belarus. They received perfectly legal assignments. They were told that they must go to third countries, to Latin America and the Middle East, for absolutely legal work. But in fact they were dragged off to Belarus and presented as a potential attack force in order to destabilise the situation during the election campaign. This had nothing to do with reality.

Let me repeat that these people were going to work in a third country. They were simply lured there, dragged across the border. By the way, our border guards did not let them out and they could not move in anywhere. But de facto they were brought in on fake documents.

Sergei Brilyov: Ukrainian secret services?

Vladimir Putin: This was an operation of Ukrainian secret services in cooperation with their US colleagues. Now this is known for sure. Some participants in this event or observers, well-informed people do not even conceal this now.

Sergei Brilyov: Mr President, I think I have been lucky in my career as a journalist. I had three detailed interviews with Alexander Lukashenko but you know him much better, of course. In this context, I would like to quote what Mr Lukashenko said after one of his telephone conversations with you.

Vladimir Putin: Go ahead.

Sergei Brilyov: He said that when it comes to the military component, we have a treaty with the Russian Federation in the framework of the Union State and the CSTO, that is, a Collective Security Treaty Organisation, and these aspects seem to be covered by that Treaty. Somewhat earlier he said you agreed to provide assistance to Minsk at his first request.

What is meant by “these aspects”?

Vladimir Putin: There is no need to hush up anything.

Indeed, the Union Treaty, that is, the Treaty on the Union State, and the Collective Security Treaty (CSTO) include articles saying that all member states of these organisations, including the Union State, which consists of two states only – Russia and Belarus, are obliged to help each other protect their sovereignty, external borders and stability. This is exactly what it says.

In this connection, we have certain obligations towards Belarus, and this is how Mr Lukashenko has formulated his question. He said that he would like us to provide assistance to him if this should become necessary. I replied that Russia would honour all its obligations.

Mr Lukashenko has asked me to create a reserve group of law enforcement personnel, and I have done this. But we have also agreed that this group would not be used unless the situation becomes uncontrollable, when extremist elements – I would like to say this once again – when the extremist elements, using political slogans as a cover, overstep the mark and start plundering the country, burning vehicles, houses, banks, trying to seize administration buildings, and so on.

During our conversation with Mr Lukashenko, we came to the conclusion that now it is not necessary, and I hope that it will never be necessary to use this reserve, which is why we are not using it.

I would like to say once again that we proceed from the belief that all the current problems in Belarus will be settled peacefully, and if any violations are permitted by either side – the state authorities and the law enforcement personnel, or the protesters – if they exceed the framework of the law, the law will respond to this accordingly. The law must be equal for everyone. But speaking objectively, I believe that the Belarusian law enforcement agencies are exercising commendable self-control despite everything. Just take a look at what is happening in some other countries.

Sergei Brilyov: Yes, but the first two days were awful for many people.

Vladimir Putin: You know what I think about this. Was it not awful when people died in some European countries nearly every day?

Sergei Brilyov: This is why Lukashenko rejected Macron’s mediation, offering instead to help him deal with the yellow vest protests.

Vladimir Putin: Is it not awful when a defenceless person is shot in the back and there are his three children in his car?

Sergei Brilyov: Yes, it is awful.

Vladimir Putin: Have those who are putting the blame on Belarus and the Belarusian authorities, President Lukashenko, have these people condemned these acts? I have not heard anything about this. Why such discrimination?

This makes me think that the issue is not the current events in Belarus, but that some forces would like to see something different happening there. They would like to influence these processes and to bring about the solutions that would suit their political interests.

Therefore, I would like to say once again that the general situation [in Belarus] is improving, by and large. And I hope that all the problems – and there are indeed problems, because otherwise the people would not have taken to the streets – that all these problems will be settled peacefully within the framework of the Constitution and the law.

Sergei Brilyov: Thank you, Mr President.

Russian Coup’ Plot In Belarus Was Faked By Ukraine

The 'Russian Coup’ Plot In Belarus Was Faked By Ukraine

Addresses to the Nation - Обращение к гражданам России

April 02, 2020


В.Путин: Дорогие друзья! Уважаемые граждане России!

Завершается неделя, которая была объявлена в России нерабочей. При этом в напряжённом режиме продолжают трудиться врачи, медсёстры, весь персонал медицинских учреждений.

Им всем сейчас очень непросто. Именно они в больницах и инфекционных отделениях, на всех врачебных участках держат оборону от наступающей эпидемии: лечат, спасают людей, предотвращают возникновение и развитие болезни. Уверен, что все граждане страны присоединятся к словам сердечной благодарности нашим медицинским работникам.

Свой долг в эти дни выполняют и сотрудники других сфер – жизненно важных для страны и общества. Хотел бы также искренне поблагодарить вас – вас всех, без исключения.

И конечно, сказать спасибо волонтёрам, добровольцам, неравнодушным людям, всем гражданам, которые осознали, прочувствовали свою личную ответственность в борьбе с эпидемией, строго исполняют рекомендации властей и врачей-специалистов, заботятся о себе, о здоровье родных и близких, о безопасности окружающих.

Нерабочая неделя, объявленная по всей стране, а также режим самоизоляции, предусмотренный для жителей многих регионов, позволили нам выиграть время для упреждающих действий, для мобилизации всех органов власти, для наращивания ресурсов системы здравоохранения, для того, чтобы бороться с эпидемией максимально эффективно, используя как наш собственный опыт, так и лучшие практики других стран.

Что считаю принципиально важным: нам в целом пока удаётся оградить от серьёзной угрозы людей старших поколений, не допустить вспышки эпидемии в детских садах и школах, вузах, других учебных заведениях.

Естественно, встаёт вопрос, что необходимо делать дальше, какие будут наши решения. Подчеркну: принимая их, нам надо понимать, что угроза сохраняется. Как полагают специалисты-вирусологи, пик эпидемии в мире ещё не пройден, в том числе и в нашей стране.

В связи с этим мною принято решение продлить режим нерабочих дней до конца месяца, то есть по 30 апреля включительно. Подчеркну: с сохранением за работниками их заработной платы.

Вместе с тем ситуация меняется, и в разных регионах, даже в их отдельных муниципалитетах, она также складывается по-разному. У нас большая, очень большая страна, разная плотность населения, есть субъекты Федерации, где коронавирус уже создал серьёзную угрозу для людей, например, так, как в Москве, где переломить ситуацию – несмотря на принимаемые меры федеральных и городских властей – пока не удаётся. А есть регионы, которых, к сожалению, всё меньше и меньше, где ещё не зафиксировано, слава богу, ни одного случая заболевания.

Поэтому где-то должны соблюдаться более жёсткие ограничения, а где-то при сохранении высокого уровня готовности сейчас достаточно локальных, точечных решений. Эти особенности надо учитывать.

В этой связи субъектам, главам субъектов Федерации по моему Указу будут предоставлены дополнительные полномочия. До конца текущей недели они должны будут определить конкретный набор профилактических мер, оптимальных именно для их территорий как с точки зрения обеспечения здоровья, безопасности людей, так и устойчивости экономики и ключевой инфраструктуры.

То есть, повторю, регионы сами, в значительной степени исходя из объективной ситуации будут принимать решения о том, какой режим в субъекте Федерации или в его отдельных муниципалитетах вводится в соответствии с Указом Президента России, какие учреждения и организации должны приостановить свою деятельность, а какие могут её продолжить при строгом обеспечении безопасности граждан.

Добавлю, что, как и прежде, будут работать органы власти, предприятия с непрерывным производством, медицинские учреждения и аптеки, магазины товаров первой необходимости, все службы жизнеобеспечения.

В том случае, если возникнет необходимость дополнительных ограничений для системообразующих предприятий, а также для образовательных, научных организаций, регионы будут обязаны согласовывать такое решение с федеральным Правительством.

Сегодня крайне важно обеспечить взаимодействие между разными уровнями власти: федеральным, региональным, муниципальным. Поэтому поручил своим полномочным представителям в федеральных округах плотно координировать работу регионов. Вся информация должна поступать в координационный совет при Правительстве Российской Федерации по борьбе с коронавирусом, обрабатываться там, анализироваться и учитываться при принятии решений.

И конечно, действия региональных властей в обязательном порядке должны быть согласованы с санитарно-эпидемиологическими службами. Главный, безусловный критерий – защищённость, здоровье и безопасность граждан России.

С учётом развития ситуации будем принимать дополнительные решения и, если обстановка позволит, скорректируем объявленный период вынужденных нерабочих дней в сторону его сокращения.

Что ещё хочу сказать и что ещё хочу особо подчеркнуть. Реализуя меры по борьбе с эпидемией, нам нельзя забывать, что столь же важно, важно сейчас сохранение рабочих мест и доходов граждан. Это общий приоритет для Правительства, регионов, бизнеса. Эффективная, стабильно работающая экономика лежит в основе решения наших ключевых задач, в том числе и в сфере здравоохранения.

Уважаемые граждане России! Прошу вас и дальше предельно внимательно относиться к требованиям властей и рекомендациям врачей и специалистов, беречь себя и своих близких.

Крайне важными, в ряде случаев решающими были и остаются наша общая ответственность и взаимоподдержка. Даже короткое время этой недели показало, что, когда мы понимаем сложность ситуации, нам удаётся снизить риски. Уверен, мы и впредь будем действовать так же согласованно и надёжно. И самое главное – на опережение.

Благодарю вас за внимание. Будьте здоровы.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Citizens of Russia, friends,

The non-work week in Russia is coming to an end. However, doctors, nurses and all medical personnel continue to work intensely.

It is a difficult time for them now. They are holding the line of defence against the advancing epidemic: they are treating and saving people as well as preventing the contraction and development of the disease. I am confident that all Russians will share my heartfelt gratitude to our medical personnel.

People working in other fields that are vital for Russia and society are also doing their duty now. I would like to sincerely thank you all, without exception.

And, of course, I would like to thank volunteers and people who care, everyone who understood and felt their personal responsibility in countering the epidemic and who strictly follow the recommendations of the authorities and medical specialists, take care of themselves, their families and the safety of those around them.

The nationwide non-work week as well as the self-isolation regime declared in many regions made it possible for us to gain time to take preventive action, to mobilise all the government bodies and to increase the healthcare system’s resources to counter the epidemic as effectively as possible using our own experience and the best practices from other countries.

I believe it of great importance that overall we have managed to protect the elderly from the serious threat so far and prevent outbreaks of the epidemic at kindergartens, schools, universities and other educational institutions.

Of course, now we have to think about our next steps and decisions. Let me stress that when making decisions we have to understand that the threat is still present. Virologists believe that the global peak of the epidemic is still ahead of us, including in Russia.

In this context, I have decided to prolong the official non-work period until the end of the month, or through April 30. Let me stress that wages will be retained.

At the same time, the situation is changing, and it is different in different regions and even in individual municipalities. We have a very large country with varying population densities and regions where the coronavirus has already created a serious threat to people. This applies, for one, to Moscow where the trend has not been reversed yet despite the measures taken by the federal and municipal authorities. Meanwhile, there are regions where not a single case of the disease has been identified, although there are fewer of them as time goes on.

Therefore, restrictions should be tightened in some regions, whereas local, spot solutions may be sufficient in others with a high level of preparedness. These specific distinctions must be taken into account.

In this context, the regional heads will be granted additional authority in line with my Executive Order. By the end of this week, they will have to plan out a set of specific preventive measures that are the most rational for their regions in terms of the health and security of the people and the sustainability of the economy and key elements of the infrastructure.

Let me repeat that the regions themselves will make decisions that are based largely on the objective situation. These decisions should determine what regime to introduce in a region or its individual municipalities under the presidential Executive Order, which companies and organisations need to suspend their activities and which can continue operating with strict observance of public health.

Let me add that, as before, work will continue at government bodies, companies with continuous production, medical facilities and pharmacies, shops selling the basic necessities and all vital services.

If there is a need to impose additional restrictions on backbone companies and educational and research organisations, the regions will have to coordinate the decision with the Federal Government.

It is critical to ensure interaction between different levels of government, including the federal, regional and municipal governments. I therefore asked my plenipotentiary envoys in the federal districts to closely coordinate this work in the regions. All information must go to the Government Coronavirus Effort Coordinating Board for processing and analysis and be used in decision-making.

Of course, the regional authorities must coordinate their actions with the sanitary and epidemiological authorities. The key and unconditional goal here is proper protection, health and safety of the Russian people.

We will see where the situation goes from here and make further decisions and, situation permitting, will adjust the duration of the announced period of compulsory days off to reduce it.

I have another point to make. As we implement measures to combat the epidemic, we must not forget that it is just as important to preserve jobs and incomes. This is a common priority for the Government, the regional authorities and for businesses. An efficient and steadily performing economy provides the basis for achieving our key goals, including in healthcare.

Fellow citizens, please continue to strictly follow the instructions issued by the authorities and the recommendations of the doctors and specialists, and to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Our shared responsibility and mutual support remain extremely important and, in some cases, decisive. Even this short week has shown that with the proper understanding of the complexity of the situation, we can manage to reduce the risks effectively. I am sure that we will continue to act in the same coordinated and reliable manner. Most importantly, we must be proactive.

Thank you. Stay well.

May 25, 2020

March 25, 2020 On the Coronavirus


В.Путин: Уважаемые граждане России! Дорогие друзья!

Обращаюсь к вам по вопросу, который сейчас волнует всех нас.

Мы видим, как остро развивается ситуация с эпидемией коронавируса в мире. Во многих странах продолжает нарастать число заболевших. Под ударом оказалась вся мировая экономика, уже сейчас прогнозируется её спад.

Благодаря заранее принятым мерам нам в целом удаётся пока сдерживать и широкое, и стремительное распространение болезни. Но мы с вами должны понимать, что Россия – просто даже в силу своего географического положения – не может отгородиться от угрозы. Рядом с нашими границами находятся государства, уже серьёзно поражённые эпидемией, и полностью заблокировать её проникновение в нашу страну объективно невозможно.

Но то, что мы можем и уже делаем, – так это работать профессионально, организованно и на опережение. И главный приоритет здесь – жизнь и здоровье наших граждан.

К развёртыванию системы своевременной медицинской помощи и профилактики подключены все возможности и ресурсы. Хочу особо обратиться к врачам, фельдшерам, медицинским сёстрам, сотрудникам больниц, поликлиник, ФАПов, служб скорой помощи, к нашим учёным. Вы сейчас на переднем крае защиты страны. Сердечно благодарю всех вас за самоотверженный труд.

Прошу граждан с предельным вниманием отнестись к рекомендациям врачей и органов власти. От этого сейчас очень многое зависит. Особенно это касается наиболее уязвимых групп населения: людей старшего поколения и тех, кто страдает хроническими заболеваниями. И для них, и для всех граждан сейчас стоит задача максимально снизить риски.

Естественно, возникает вопрос и об организации общероссийского голосования по поправкам в Конституцию, с предварительно определённой датой – 22 апреля. Вы знаете, как серьёзно, насколько серьёзно я к этому отношусь. И конечно, буду просить вас прийти и высказать своё мнение по этому вопросу – принципиальному, ключевому для нашей страны, для нашего общества.

Однако, как уже говорил ранее, абсолютным приоритетом для нас является здоровье, жизнь и безопасность людей. Поэтому считаю, что голосование необходимо перенести на более позднюю дату.

Оценим, как будет развиваться ситуация и в регионах, и в целом по стране, и, только опираясь на профессиональное мнение, рекомендации врачей, специалистов, примем решение о новом дне голосования.

Далее. Сейчас крайне важно предотвратить угрозу быстрого распространения болезни.

Поэтому объявляю следующую неделю нерабочей, с сохранением заработной платы. То есть выходные дни продлятся с субботы 28 марта по воскресенье 5 апреля.

Естественно, все структуры жизнеобеспечения, в том числе медицинские учреждения, аптеки, магазины, учреждения, обеспечивающие банковские, финансовые расчёты, транспорт, а также органы власти всех уровней продолжат свою работу.

Повторю, длинные выходные предусмотрены именно для того, чтобы снизить скорость распространения болезни.

Обращаюсь ко всем гражданам страны. Давайте не будем поступать, полагаясь на наше русское «авось». Не думайте, пожалуйста, как у нас бывает: «А, меня это не коснется!» Это может коснуться каждого. И тогда то, что происходит сегодня во многих западных странах, и в Европе, и за океаном, может стать нашим ближайшим будущим. Все рекомендации необходимо обязательно соблюдать. Надо поберечь и себя, и своих близких, проявить дисциплину и ответственность. И поверьте, самое безопасное сейчас – побыть дома.

Отдельно остановлюсь на текущей социально-экономической ситуации. Здесь нам также нужны дополнительные шаги, прежде всего чтобы обеспечить социальную защиту граждан, сохранение их доходов и рабочих мест, а также поддержку малого и среднего бизнеса, в котором заняты миллионы людей.

В этой связи будут реализованы следующие первоочередные меры.

Первое. Все социальные пособия и льготы, которые полагаются гражданам, в течение ближайших шести месяцев должны продлеваться автоматически, без предоставления каких-либо дополнительных справок и хождений по инстанциям. Например, если семья имеет право на льготы по ЖКХ, ей не надо будет регулярно подтверждать уровень своих доходов, чтобы получать такую поддержку.

Также обращаю внимание: выплаты к 75-летию Великой Победы ветеранам и труженикам тыла в 75 и 50 тысяч рублей соответственно должны быть осуществлены до майских праздников, раньше обычного, уже в апреле.

Второе. Надо поддержать семьи с детьми. Предлагаю в ближайшие три месяца, начиная уже с апреля, выплачивать всем семьям, имеющим право на материнский капитал, дополнительно по пять тысяч рублей ежемесячно на каждого ребенка в возрасте до трёх лет включительно.

Такая поддержка особенно важна для семей, где дети сейчас не посещают ясли или детский сад, для родителей, которые находятся на больничном или в отпуске по уходу за ребёнком.

Что касается нашей новой меры поддержки, а именно выплат на детей в возрасте от трёх до семи лет включительно, то поручаю Правительству форсировать все организационные мероприятия, чтобы семьи начали получать эти выплаты не в июле, как планировалось, а на месяц раньше, уже в июне. Также прошу губернаторов ускорить передачу необходимой информации из региональных загсов в налоговую службу. Коллеги, это принципиально важно, чтобы начать выплаты. Обратите на это внимание.

Третье. Нужно поддержать тех, кто оказался на больничном или потерял работу. Сейчас больничный рассчитывается исходя из стажа работника и его зарплаты. В результате сотрудники, прежде всего молодые люди, могут получать крайне низкие выплаты по больничному листу. Это, конечно, несправедливо. Предлагаю установить норму: выплаты по больничному должны рассчитываться исходя из суммы не менее 1 МРОТ в месяц. Пока такая норма будет действовать до конца текущего года, а затем примем решение с учётом ситуации.

Экономика России, как и экономики других стран, из-за последствий эпидемии испытывает сильное негативное давление. И надо, как я уже сказал, поддержать тех, кто может столкнуться с потерей работы.

Сейчас, за исключением некоторых категорий граждан, максимальная выплата по пособию по безработице ограничена суммой в 8 тысяч рублей в месяц. Предлагаю увеличить её до уровня минимального размера оплаты труда, то есть до 12 130 рублей.

Четвёртое. Ещё одна зона риска – это кредиты граждан. Понятно, что при резком сокращении доходов выплачивать долг в прежнем режиме трудно или просто невозможно.

Предлагаю предусмотреть каникулы как по потребительским, так и по ипотечным кредитам. О чём идёт речь. Если человек попал в сложную жизненную ситуацию, а именно: его месячный доход резко сократился, более чем на 30 процентов, у него должно быть право временно приостановить обслуживание своего долга и пролонгировать его. Разумеется, без всяких штрафных санкций.

Прошу Банк России предусмотреть аналогичный механизм пролонгации кредитов и для индивидуальных предпринимателей.

Если выплата долга в силу объективных причин оказывается в принципе невозможной, то и в этом случае гражданин не должен попасть в тупик, становиться заложником требований кредиторов. Процедура банкротства должна быть посильной и необременительной. Прошу Правительство и парламент ускорить принятие необходимых изменений в нормативную базу.

Пятое. Малый, средний бизнес, микропредприятия, особенно в сфере услуг, сталкиваются сейчас с объективными трудностями, с сокращением заказов, снижением выручки.

Нужно помочь таким компаниям продолжить устойчивую работу, а значит – сохранить своих сотрудников. Повторю, наша важнейшая задача, обращаюсь сейчас ко всем работодателям, – обеспечить стабильность на рынке труда, не допустить всплеска безработицы.

Государство окажет бизнесу содействие в решении этой задачи.

Предлагаю для тех предприятий, для тех отраслей, которые наиболее затронуты нынешней непростой ситуацией, обеспечить следующие меры поддержки.

Компаниям малого и среднего бизнеса считаю необходимым предоставить отсрочку по всем налогам, за исключением НДС, на ближайшие шесть месяцев. А для микропредприятий, кроме такой отсрочки по налогам, дать ещё и отсрочку по страховым взносам в социальные фонды.

Что касается банковских кредитов, то и здесь компании малого и среднего бизнеса, микропредприятия, оказавшиеся в сложной ситуации, должны получить отсрочку по кредитам также на ближайшие шесть месяцев.

В целом прошу Правительство и Центральный Банк предложить и принять дополнительные меры обеспечения устойчивого кредитования реального сектора, включая предоставление госгарантий и субсидирование.

Далее. Предприятия, оказавшиеся в сложной ситуации, нужно защитить от банкротства. В этой связи предлагаю ввести сроком на шесть месяцев мораторий на подачу заявлений кредиторов о банкротстве компаний и взыскании долгов и штрафов.

Повторю, эти меры будут распространены на компании, которые работают в секторах, наиболее затронутых нынешней непростой ситуацией. Вместе с тем поручаю Правительству вести постоянный мониторинг ситуации и в случае необходимости расширять, корректировать перечень отраслей, которые нуждаются в поддержке.

Шестое. Сейчас мы обязаны сделать всё, чтобы поддержать доходы граждан, прежде всего занятых на малых и средних предприятиях.

Чтобы у таких предприятий появились для этого дополнительные ресурсы, предлагаю в два раза, с 30 до 15 процентов, снизить для них размер страховых взносов. Такая пониженная ставка будет распространяться на сумму зарплаты, превышающую МРОТ, минимальный размер оплаты труда. Если же зарплата будет на уровне МРОТ или почему-то даже ниже, то ставка останется прежней, 30 процентов.

Обращаю внимание: пониженная ставка вводится не на несколько месяцев, не только в качестве антикризисной меры, а, что называется «вдолгую», на перспективу. И таким образом мы создаём долгосрочный стимул для работодателей повышать зарплаты своим сотрудникам.

И, наконец, предлагаю ещё две меры. О них скажу отдельно.

Первое. Все выплаты доходов (в виде процентов и дивидендов), уходящие из России за рубеж, в офшорные юрисдикции, должны облагаться адекватным налогом.

Сейчас две трети таких средств, а по сути это доходы конкретных физических лиц, в результате разного рода схем так называемой оптимизации облагаются реальной ставкой налога лишь в 2 процента. Тогда как граждане даже с небольших зарплат платят подоходный налог в 13 процентов. Это, конечно, мягко говоря, несправедливо.

Поэтому предлагаю для тех, кто выводит свои доходы в виде дивидендов на зарубежные счета, предусмотреть ставку налога на такие дивиденды в 15 процентов. Естественно, это потребует корректировки наших соглашений об избежании двойного налогообложения с некоторыми странами. Прошу Правительство организовать такую работу. Если же иностранные партнёры не примут наши предложения, то Россия выйдет из этих соглашений в одностороннем порядке. И начнём с тех стран, через которые проходят значительные ресурсы российского происхождения, что является наиболее чувствительным для нашей страны.

Второе. Во многих странах мира процентные доходы физических лиц от вкладов в банках и инвестиций в ценные бумаги облагаются подоходным налогом. У нас такой доход налогом не облагается.

Предлагаю для граждан, чей общий объём банковских вкладов или инвестиций в долговые ценные бумаги превышает 1 миллион рублей, установить налог на процентный доход в размере 13 процентов. То есть, повторю, не сам вклад, а только проценты, получаемые с таких вложений, будут облагаться налогом на доходы физических лиц.

Подчеркну, такая мера затронет лишь порядка одного процента вкладчиков. При этом условия для размещения средств в российских банках по-прежнему останутся привлекательными и одними из самых высокодоходных в мире.

Предложенные решения – непростые. Но прошу относиться к ним с пониманием. И добавлю, все дополнительные поступления в бюджет, которые будут получены в результате реализации двух обозначенных мер, предлагаю целевым образом направлять на финансирование мер поддержки семей с детьми, на помощь людям, столкнувшимся с безработицей или оказавшимся на больничном.

Уважаемые граждане России!

Все меры, которые принимаются и ещё будут приняты, сработают, дадут результат, если мы проявим сплочённость, понимание сложности текущей ситуации. Если государство, общество, граждане будут действовать вместе, если сделаем всё, что зависит от каждого из нас.

Нам нужно помнить о своей личной ответственности за своих близких, за тех, кто живёт рядом, кому нужна наша помощь и поддержка. По большому счёту, именно в такой солидарности и заключается сила общества, надёжность взаимовыручки, эффективность нашего ответа на вызов, с которым мы сталкиваемся.

Благодарю вас за внимание.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Citizens of Russia, friends,

I am reaching out to you on an issue that has become a matter of concern for all of us.

We are witnessing an acute escalation of the coronavirus epidemic on a global scale. The number of new cases continues to grow in many countries. The global economy as a whole is at risk, and is already expected to shrink.

By taking precautionary measures, we have been largely able to prevent the infection from rapidly spreading and limit the incidence rate. However, we have to understand that Russia cannot insulate itself from this threat, simply considering its geography. There are countries along our borders that have already been seriously affected by the epidemic, which means that in all objectivity it is impossible to stop it from spilling over into Russia.

That said, being professional, well organised and proactive is what we can do and are already doing. The lives and health of our citizens is our top priority.

We have mobilised all the capabilities and resources for deploying a system of timely prevention and treatment. I would like to specially address doctors, paramedics, nurses, staff at hospitals, outpatient clinics, rural paramedic centres, ambulance services, and researchers: you are at the forefront of dealing with this situation. My heartfelt gratitude to you for your dedicated efforts.

I would like to ask Russian citizens to listen very carefully to the advice coming from doctors and the authorities. This could make a very big difference at this point in time. This is especially true for the most vulnerable categories of citizens: the elderly and people who have chronic illnesses. Minimising the risks should be a priority for them and all people in general.

There is also the question of the national vote on the amendments to the Constitution, which has been tentatively scheduled for April 22. You know that this is a very serious matter to me. Of course, I will ask you to go to the polling stations to express your opinion on this issue of fundamental and crucial importance to the country and society.

However, as I said before, our absolute priority is the health, life and safety of the people. This is why I believe the vote should be postponed.

We will look at the situation in the regions and throughout the country, and we will rely on the professional opinion and recommendations of doctors and specialists when setting a new date for this vote.

Next, the immediate priority is to prevent the quick spread of this diseases.

Therefore, I declare next week to be an official non-work period while maintaining wages. In other words, the days off will last from Saturday March 28 to Sunday April 5.

Of course, all public infrastructure facilities, including medical facilities, pharmacies, stores, institutions responsible for banking and financial settlements, as well as transport, and ministries and agencies at all levels, will continue working.

As I said, the extended days off are being declared to reduce the speed of the virus spreading.

I am addressing all our citizens. Let us not rely on chance as we tend to do in Russia. Do not think, as we usually do, that this cannot happen to you. It can happen to anyone. And then we will very quickly see what is now happening in many western countries, in Europe and across the ocean, happen here in Russia. We must strictly comply with all the recommendations. We must protect ourselves, our families and friends, and we must adopt a more disciplined and responsible approach. Trust me: the best thing to do now is stay home.

I will now specifically focus on the current socioeconomic situation. Here, we also need to take additional steps, primarily to ensure the social protection of our people, their incomes and jobs, as well as support for small and medium-sized businesses, which employ millions of people.

In this regard, the following priority measures will be implemented.

First, all social protection benefits that our citizens are entitled to, should be renewed automatically over the next six months, with no additional certificates or visits to the authorities needed. For example, if a family is entitled to subsidised housing and utility payments, they will not need to regularly confirm their per capita income to continue receiving this state support.

Please note that all payments to war veterans and home-front workers timed to the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory, 75,000 and 50,000 rubles, respectively, should be made before the May holidays, earlier than usual, in April.

Second, it is essential to support families with children. In the next three months, starting in April, I propose paying all families that are eligible to maternity capital, an additional 5,000 rubles a month for each child up to three years of age.

This support is especially important for families with children who are not attending day-care nurseries or kindergartens, and for parents who are on sick leave or on maternity leave.

Regarding our new support package, I mean benefits for children aged 3 to 7, I now instruct the Government to expedite all organisational arrangements so that eligible families can start receiving these payments not in July, as planned, but a month earlier, in June. I also ask the governors to expedite the transfer of the necessary information from the regional civil registry offices to the tax service. Colleagues, it is fundamentally important to start making these payments. Pay attention to this.

Third, we need to support those on sick leave and people who have lost their jobs. Today, all sick leave payments are calculated based on employees’ period of work and salary. As a result, employees, primarily young people, can receive very low sick leave payments. This is, of course, not fair. I suggest the following provision: Sick leave payments should be calculated based on the amount of at least one minimum wage a month. This provision will be in force until the end of the year, and from there we will decide how to proceed depending on the situation.

Just like other countries’ economies, the Russian economy is experiencing substantial headwinds due to the effects of the epidemic. And, as I have already said, we need to support those who may lose their jobs.

Today, with the exception of some categories of individuals, maximum monthly unemployment benefit is 8,000 rubles. I suggest increasing it to the minimum wage amount or 12,130 rubles per month.

Fourth, loans taken out by individuals present another risk. Naturally, it is difficult if not downright impossible to completely repay debts when incomes are plunging.

I suggest declaring consumer loan and mortgage holidays. If a person faces a difficult situation, meaning their monthly income declined significantly, by over 30 percent, then they should have the right to temporarily stop debt servicing and reschedule it. It goes without saying that any penalties are out of the question.

I am asking the Bank of Russia to set up a similar loan rescheduling mechanism for self-employed people, too.

If people are unable to repay their debt for objective reasons, they should not be left without options and they should not fall hostage to creditors’ claims. We need a bankruptcy process that is fair and not burdensome. I am asking the Government and the parliament to expedite approval of the necessary regulatory changes.

Fifth. Small and medium-sized businesses and micro businesses, especially in the services sector, are now facing objective difficulties due to declining orders and revenue.

These businesses need help to stay open, which means retaining their employees. I would like to address all employers right now: once again, our most crucial task is to ensure stability in the labour market and to prevent a surge in unemployment.

Government assistance will be provided to businesses to deal with this problem.

I propose the following measures to support the enterprises and industries most affected by the current difficult situation.

I believe it is necessary to defer all taxes on small and medium-sized businesses, except for VAT, for the next six months. In addition, micro businesses should also be granted a deferral on their contributions to social insurance funds.

Bank loans held by struggling SMEs and micro businesses must also be deferred for the next six months.

Generally speaking, I am asking the Government and the Central Bank to propose and take additional action to ensure stable lending to the real economy, including through state guarantees and subsidies.

Next. Companies experiencing hardship must be protected from bankruptcy. In this connection, I am proposing a six-month moratorium on bankruptcy claims by creditors against companies and on the recovery of debts and penalties.

Once again, these measures will apply to companies operating in the sectors most affected by the current difficult situation. At the same time, I am instructing the Government to constantly monitor developments and, if necessary, expand and review the list of the industries requiring support.

Sixth. Right now, we must do everything we can to support the incomes of our citizens – especially those employed by small and medium-sized businesses.

In order for these businesses to get additional resources to support their employees, I am proposing to cut their insurance contributions in half, from 30 to 15 percent. This reduced rate will apply to the part of salary above minimum wage. For those making minimum wage or less for some reason, the rate will remain 30 percent.

I would like to stress that the reduced rate is being introduced not just for several months, not only as an anti-crisis measure, but for the long run. This way we are creating a long-term incentive for employers to increase wages.

Finally, there are two more measures I would like to suggest. Allow me to elaborate.

First, all interest and dividend income that flows from Russia and is transferred abroad into offshore jurisdictions must be taxed properly.

Today, two thirds of these funds, and basically we are talking here about incomes of specific individuals, are taxed at the rate of only 2 percent, thanks to so-called optimization strategies of all kinds. At the same time, people with modest salaries pay an income tax of 13 percent. This is unfair, to say the least.

For this reason, I suggest that those expatriating their income as dividends to foreign accounts should pay a 15 percent tax on these dividends. Of course, we will need to amend Russia’s double taxation treaties with some countries. I ask the Government to work this out. If our foreign partners do not accept our proposal, Russia will unilaterally withdraw from these treaties. We will begin with countries that attract substantial resources from Russia, which is a very sensitive issue for our country.

Second, many countries levy income tax on interest earned by individuals from their bank deposits and investments in securities, while Russia does not tax this income at all.

I propose that people with over 1 million rubles in bank deposits and debt securities pay a 13 percent tax on this income. I would like to reiterate that this is not about taxing the deposits themselves but only applying income tax to the interest individuals earn from these investments.

I would like to emphasise that only about one percent of deposit holders will be affected by this initiative. At the same time, Russian banks will still offer attractive deposits with some of the highest returns in the world.

The solutions I am proposing are far from simple. Still, I would like to ask you to treat them with understanding. Let me add that I propose using the budget revenue from these two measures to fund initiatives to support families with children and help people who are unemployed or on sick leave.

People of Russia,

All the measures that are about to be adopted or will be taken in the future will work and will produce results only if we are in it together and recognise the complexity of the current situation. We need the state, society and the people to work together, and we all have to do everything each and every one of us can do.

We have to be mindful that we bear personal responsibility for our close ones, for those who live near us, and who need our help and support. By and large, it is this sense of solidarity that underpins the resilience of our society, as well as an unwavering commitment to mutual assistance and the effectiveness of the response we come up with to overcome the challenge we are facing.

Thank you for your attention.

Как Путин в Туве отдыхал (полная версия)


Kremlin News - Difficult Times. Difficult Decisions

Обращение Президента к гражданам России

Kremlin News

«Это крупнейшее со времен маневров "Запад-81" мероприятие по подготовке Вооруженных сил, которое приобрело статус международных учений, имеет беспрецедентные масштабы, как по пространственному размаху, так и по численности привлекаемых органов военного управления, войск и сил», - сказал Шойгу.


Vladimir Putin


President Putin's Election Campaign  Site

Full text of Vladimir Putin's article for APEC summit


The 20 Questions with Vladimir Putin project is an interview with the President of Russia on the most topical subjects of social and political life in Russia and the world. Total recording time is 3.5 hours.

Part 1 On the Tasks of the New Government (Interview to TASS)

February 20, 2020 On the Tasks of the New Government (interview to TASS)

The first part of Vladimir Putin's interview to TASS News Agency.

Andrei Vandenko: How are you doing?

Vladimir Putin: Honestly?

Andrei Vandenko: Honestly.

Vladimir Putin: I am doing very well.

Andrei Vandenko: I am happy for you.

I will ask questions, and you will hopefully answer.

Vladimir Putin: I will try. Depends on the questions.

Andrei Vandenko: We are facing a non-trivial task today. There are actually 20 topics. There are 20 because you have been in office, at the helm for 20 years. Now, the year is 2020 and that is quite symbolic.

Vladimir Putin: Let us not forget that I was Prime Minister for four years, not President.

Andrei Vandenko: The resignation of the Government. There are a lot of jokes and witticisms on this subject on the Internet. The first was probably as follows: because of the unusually warm weather in Russia, its Government has melted away like the snow.

Vladimir Putin: That is funny.

Andrei Vandenko: Here is what it looks like. (Showing a photo collage)

Vladimir Putin: Ok, but why exactly did it melt away in parliament, I do not understand.

Andrei Vandenko: Well, I suppose they just found this picture.

Vladimir Putin: You know, the Internet is an interesting tool, but at times inaccurate.

Andrei Vandenko: True. And now, all kidding aside, in fact, Medvedev’s government, his cabinet, underwent a reshuffle not that long ago, just in 2018, after the election. Some left – Dvorkovich, Shuvalov, Men’, Abyzov, though let us not even go there in the latter's case; so they started to work. What happened over this year and a half to provoke…

Vladimir Putin: First, more might have happened in a year and a half, or two years. Secondly, the previous cabinet has really done a lot in terms of preparing the main phase of the implementation of national projects. They had to identify national development goals. And this only seems easy at first glance. In fact, it is an enormous effort.

Then, tools needed to be developed on which to rely in order to achieve these national goals. The Government did that as well. But then, I felt some inner certainty that this is when new people should come in to pursue work in new areas of crucial importance; people with modern training and commitment to achieving the overarching goal on key development elements.

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the core has remained. Some people from the Executive Office, including those directly involved in the work on national projects, have moved to the Government. This is of paramount importance, I believe. I will tell you why. If they were behind the development of these national projects and the goals we are expected to achieve in terms of national development, it stands to logic that they should be tasked with putting into practice exactly what they have suggested as these goals and tools to achieve them. Therefore, some people from the Executive Office have come to the Government to do it because that is where it is done.

Andrei Vandenko: And some from the Government have moved on to the Executive Office…

Vladimir Putin: Yes, yes, let them work here.

Andrei Vandenko: So changing the order of the addends does change the sum?

Vladimir Putin: Yes, it does, for sure. That is why there is nothing unusual or unexpected here. You can of course ask me, I did say there would be no change, no plans for that. Yes, I did. If I had said that I was going to change the Government tomorrow, all work would have just stopped the day after tomorrow. As the saying goes, call it a day and hit the hay.

Andrei Vandenko: That is why we call it a “special operation”.

Vladimir Putin: It is not.

Andrei Vandenko: No one knew. Did anyone know?

Vladimir Putin: I did.

Andrei Vandenko: Anybody else?

Vladimir Putin: Is that not enough?

Andrei Vandenko: When did you make the decision?

Vladimir Putin: I will not say.

Andrei Vandenko: When did you tell Medvedev?

Vladimir Putin: That is between the two of us.

Andrei Vandenko: But we should know, shouldn’t we?

Vladimir Putin: We have enjoyed very frank, collegial, friendly relations with Mr Medvedev for many years. We have no secrets from one another. Therefore, we discussed this issue with him.

Andrei Vandenko: You mean earlier? Or did you just confront him with the fact?

Vladimir Putin: We discussed it earlier and he knew what was going on.

Andrei Vandenko: He has been given a position invented for him specifically, which never existed. You even had to hastily adopt a law to provide for this post.

Vladimir Putin: Why hastily? The law was adopted.

Andrei Vandenko: The appointment came first, and the law followed…

Vladimir Putin: There is nothing out of the ordinary here. If there is something in the legislation that needs adjustment, the President in accordance with the Fundamental Law has the right to fill in this gap in the legislation by issuing an executive order, which will be followed by the adoption of a relevant law. This is normal practice. Nothing unusual.

Andrei Vandenko: There is a certain feeling of hastiness. As if you needed some solution…

Vladimir Putin: Your feeling is not exactly the same as reality. You may have all sorts of feelings. You may feel that you are running a high temperature judging by your senses, but this might not be the case. You need a thermometer to know whether you have a fever or not. So, we have nothing out of the ordinary here. I will say it again. The legal practice is as follows: if there is a gap in the legislation, a President issues an executive order, and the provision is later implemented through a law. Just wait a second. This is number one.

Number two is the question: why should we wait to decide on such issues? What will that achieve? According to those who do not have a clear understanding of what is going on or are critical about it, would it be better to spend another six months after the resignation of the Government in order to form a new one? Can you imagine what a mess the country would be in? There should never be a gap in power. Never.

Everything should be discussed and thought through in advance, in a calm and business-like manner, each step should be prepared, and then the decision should be taken and implemented. We cannot afford to muddle along here. Russia is not Belgium that can stay a whole year without any government.

Andrei Vandenko: The new Government is yet another topic. And I would like to get back to the old one. Zhirinovskiy suggested that the Security Council deputy Chairman be referred to as vice-president. Is it so, at face value?

Vladimir Putin: No. Because a vice-president is the one to step in for the President assuming all his or her rights and responsibilities. We have introduced the post of deputy Chairman of the Security Council. The President is Chairman of the Security Council. And now I have a deputy on this particular track.

Andrei Vandenko: Another joke on the Internet: the duo has fallen out of sync.

Vladimir Putin: Nothing is out of sync.

Andrei Vandenko: The tandem…

Vladimir Putin: We are working with Mr Medvedev as we used to. He has switched to another track in his career. That is true. And natural, too.

Andrei Vandenko: As for the choice you made of the new Prime Minister. Who was on the short list? They mentioned Mishustin, Sobyanin… You had two executive orders for signing on the table, and you were hesitating till the last moment.

Vladimir Putin: No one mentioned Mishustin except me. I can tell you that there were three candidates.

Andrei Vandenko: Three?

Vladimir Putin: Yes. Three, or maybe even four candidates were submitted. But Mishustin was not on the list.

Andrei Vandenko: So this was your…

Vladimir Putin: Mine.

Andrei Vandenko: What was your reasoning?

Vladimir Putin: I took into account Mr Mishustin’s personal traits and professional skills.

Andrei Vandenko: And the result of the digitalization he carried out at the institution he headed, did you take it into account?

Vladimir Putin: I did. Not so much the fact that he carried it out, but the fact that he really became an expert in this area. A man of practice, who understands very well what needs to be done and who knows how to do it; and he is doing it and achieving concrete results.

Andrei Vandenko: But what about the fact that he is a tax collector by trade, in other words, he is accustomed to taking, while this position is more about giving?

Vladimir Putin: This is a very primitive understanding of the work of the tax service.

Yes, of course, it is one of the main bodies bringing funds to the state treasury; however, to think that a tax collector walks around with a club, squeezing money out of people is very primitive. No, it is quite the opposite. His mission was to ease the situation for taxpayers, to make the procedure more transparent and clear and less burdensome for citizens.

An honest man who knows he properly pays all due taxes has the right to expect that the state will use the money wisely.

But the first thing to do is not to simply extract money from people – it is to organize the system in such a way that both the state and the tax payers could comfortably work with each other and it would be clear how things are arranged, and everybody could pay taxes without impediment, without unnecessary hassle and stress, and without running the risk of doing something that the state may interpret as illegal.

Andrei Vandenko: When this team was formed, some noticed, first of all, that you had broken, or at least it was perceived that way, certain rules that you had used to stick to, such as ”not to turn your back on your old mates“, to avoid dismissals of those criticized and not to pay heed to critics on the Internet, to public opinion. This time, the most toxic figures, who had been most fiercely criticized in the media or social networks, walked away to be replaced by ‘no-names’ – that is, people you had to ‘google’ or ‘yandex’.

Vladimir Putin: You know, the criterion was not lack of knowledge about those people, it was their professional qualifications. I know, and Mikhail Mishustin knows these people as competent professionals. And I was to a considerable extent guided specifically by his opinion in this regard. There were a number of candidates whom I had doubts about, but Mr Mishustin would prove to me that this or that person was best fit for the job. I agreed with him because, at the end of the day, he was forming his own team and the final concrete result it achieves will depend on the efficiency of its work.

Andrei Vandenko: What window of time do they have? I mean, when will you evaluate their professional efficiency?

Vladimir Putin: There is no window of time. All of these people are, I will say it again, competent, they all are well informed and know their job. Many of them worked, one way or another, on the national projects and national development targets, so they are totally in the know. Thus, there can be no window, no time for warming up.

Part 2 Ukraine (Interview to TASS)

February 21, 2020 Ukraine (Interview to TASS)

The second part of Vladimir Putin's interview to TASS News Agency.

Andrei Vandenko: The next subject is Ukraine.

Have you seen the ”Servant of the People“ series?

Vladimir Putin: No.

Andrei Vandenko: Even the segment when president Goloborodko is choosing a wristwatch like Putin's?

Vladimir Putin: I haven't seen it. I don't know either Goloborodko or who is choosing what there. I haven't seen it.

Andrei Vandenko: Ok. Though a very interesting pair forms: a galley slave and a servant of the people.

Vladimir Putin: As you know, whatever goes around comes around. Ultimately, it’s not how you call yourself, it’s what you do and how you do it.

Andrei Vandenko: Is there a chance that you come to terms with Zelensky?

Vladimir Putin: What about?

Andrei Vandenko: About peace, about friendship.

Vladimir Putin: Hope is the last thing to die. Yes, there is a chance. But unfortunately, after his return from Paris he started talking about the necessity to revise the Minsk Agreements. This begs the question.

Nevertheless, we managed to agree on the exchange of detained persons and we now managed to agree on gas.

Andrei Vandenko: Does the fact that today we are not friends with Ukraine represent a loss for us?

Vladimir Putin: Yes, of course, but as I have repeatedly said I believe that we are one and the same people.

Andrei Vandenko: The Ukrainians don't like it very much either.

Vladimir Putin: I don't know whether they like this or not but if you look at the reality that is true. You see, we had no difference in our languages until the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries.

And only as a result of Polonization, the part of the Ukrainians who lived in the territory under the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, only around the 16th century the first language differences appeared. In general, the Ukrainians [with an accent on the first a] were called the people who lived …

Andrei Vandenko: Ukrainians [with an accent on the first i].

Vladimir Putin: Ukrainians [with an accent on the first a] were the people who lived on the frontiers of the Russian state. There were Ukrainians in Pskov; Ukrainians were the people who defended the southern frontiers from attacks by the Crimean khan. Ukrainians were in the Urals. Ukrainians were everywhere. We had no language differences.

Moreover, around the same time, before the 14th and 15th centuries, even those people, the east Slavs, who lived in the territory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth – both in Muscovy and in Poland – were called Russians. The first language differences appeared much later…

Andrei Vandenko: History is history, but now we are talking about the present day.

Vladimir Putin: To talk about today or tomorrow we need to know history, need to know who we are, where do we come from, what unites us.

What unites us is…

Andrei Vandenko: Now many things divide us.

Vladimir Putin: Many things divide us. But we should not forget about things that unite us. And should not destroy what we have. For example, the Church. Why did one need to destroy the unity of the Russian Orthodox Church?

You know that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate is in fact fully autonomous; it has been fully autonomous before, including in terms of the election of hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. The Moscow Patriarchate has never had any influence on the election of hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.

In fact, it has always been independent, completely. There has been only spiritual unity and mentioning. The Patriarch of Moscow has been mentioned, recalled all the time in churches. That's it! It has been the only thing uniting the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. But they needed to cut the cords that bind. Why?

You say people do not understand. They simply do not know it. If they know, they will understand better. They should be told that. Why should one be embarrassed? Is it insulting for people?

Some time passed. As a result of people sharing the border with the Catholic world, with Europe, a community of people feeling to some extent independent from the Russian State began to emerge. How should we feel about that? I have already said: we should respect that. But we should not forget about our shared community.

Moreover, in the modern world our joint efforts give us huge competitive advantages. And, vice versa, division makes us weaker.

The Ukrainian factor was specifically played out on the eve of World War I by the Austrian special service. Why? It is well-known – to divide and rule. Absolutely clear.

Nevertheless, if it happened this way, and a big part of the Ukrainian population got a sense of their own national identity and so on, we should respect that. We should proceed from the reality but not forget who we are and where we come from.

By the way, the fathers of the Ukrainian nationalism, they never spoke about the urgent need to break up with Russia. Strange as it may seem, but their major works of the 19th century say that Ukraine is: a) multinational and should be a federal state, and b) should build good relations with Russia.

Today’s nationalists seem to have forgotten that. I will tell you why they have forgotten that. You know why? Because the interests of the Ukrainian people are not the main issue on their agenda.

How can it be the interest of the Ukrainian people if the break-up with Russia has led to loss of space engineering, shipbuilding, aircraft engineering and engine manufacturing; it is virtually the deindustrialization of the country that is happening. How can it be among interests?

The World Bank demands to stop cross-subsidizing. What's good in it? Or, they make them export round wood from the Carpathians. Soon the Carpathians will turn bald.

Why do this if, by joining efforts, we increase our competitive advantages manifold? Why lose it? Why throw everything away, what for?

Because the Ukrainian leaders or those who got power pursued their self-interests. And what were they? It was not even to earn more by robbing the Ukrainian people but to retain what has been plundered before. This was the main objective.

So, where is the ‘dough’? Pardon my French. Where is the money? In foreign banks. What do they need to do for this? Show that they serve those who have this money.

Hence, the only thing they sell is Russophobia. Because some like dividing Ukraine and Russia, they believe it's a very important mission. Because any integration of Russia and Ukraine, along with their capacities and competitive advantages, would lead to the emergence of a rival, a global rival for Europe and the world. No one wants it. That's why they'll do anything to pull us apart.

Part 3 On First Steps to Implement National Projects (Interview to TASS)

February 25, 2020 On first steps to implement National Projects (Interview to TASS)

The third part of Vladimir Putin's interview to TASS News Agency.

Andrei Vandenko: The National Projects. This is a classic. The first step is always the hardest.

Vladimir Putin: Why?

Andrei Vandenko: At the end of the year, you said they still had not taken off.

Vladimir Putin: First, that is not what I said. Well, not exactly. That is the first thing.

Secondly, I always have to…

Andrei Vandenko: “People did not feel the results.” This is a quote, very close to the original.

Vladimir Putin: First of all, I have to not only constantly keep my finger on the pulse of things, but I have to keep them – those who are responsible for handling these tasks – all under pressure. And believe me…

Andrei Vandenko: Do you have to jolt them into action?

Vladimir Putin: Yes, jolting them into action is necessary. It is essential to keep people on top of their responsibility. They need to be under constant administrative pressure. Otherwise, as I have seen from sufficiently significant experience, as soon as the pressure, the heat is gone, people generally begin to slack off. This is why I said what I said. That is one thing.

Another thing is that it is true that not everything has been accomplished. Out of the 38 tasks set for this year, 26 have been accomplished, and the others have not.

Andrei Vandenko: For this year – do you mean 2019?

Vladimir Putin: The others have not been accomplished. Nevertheless, 26 targets were met. And you say that the people have not felt this yet.

Andrei Vandenko: It was you who said this.

Vladimir Putin: Well, yes, in some respects… I said the effects should have been felt, but in some respects they were not felt. But what is really important is to ensure that the people not just know, but feel the real effects of this.

Take relocation from dilapidated housing. We have accomplished innumerably more than we had anticipated. And people were definitely able to feel the effects. That is obvious. This is the first thing. A solution does not appear out of thin air, it has to be worked on and appropriate resources must be allocated, that will have to be redirected from resolving other tasks. Things will not appear out of the blue. We can say, ‘it should not be this way.’ Is that it? But who is going to do this? It is the people who do it. Or take the objective of raising life expectancy. It has increased already, and in the past year as well. That is the result of a lower mortality rate, which has gone down significantly. That is an actual fact. You understand, don’t you?

Andrei Vandenko: But the year ended with a population decline.

Vladimir Putin: Last year saw a population decline because…

Andrei Vandenko: And the rate was significant.

Vladimir Putin: 260,000. I know. I know nearly every figure.

Andrei Vandenko: I have no doubt.

Vladimir Putin: And you do not need to. Because I deal with this every day. It was clearly understood well in advance.

Look at our situation. The number of schoolchildren has grown, and it will continue to grow in the coming years. Why? Because a rather sizable generation reached their reproductive age several years ago, some 7–10 years ago. Yet, now the number of people that have entered into their childbearing years is far lower. That was a result of two plunges in the birthrate: one in 1943–1944 and the other in the mid-1990s. These two bottomed out, causing a depression. Therefore, we have fewer people in their childbearing years. The number of women aged 20 to 29 is down by 4.5 million. That is it. These are objective statistics.

Andrei Vandenko: I am not saying that we should not have the National Projects. I am talking about what could be. You have extensive experience. Take, for example, hosting the Sochi Olympics, the FIFA World Cup, or the APEC summit in Vladivostok. A specific target is set, a powerful shot follows and we score! Hurrah!

Vladimir Putin: I do not need any ‘hurrahs’. I want to see the country developing steadily, confidently, rhythmically and comprehensively.

What you have just said, yes, I certainly find it very pleasing. Not what you said, but when I see the outcome, I am pleased.

When I visit Vladivostok, during the drive from the airport, I glance back at the airport building first. How it was built is a different story. Then I look at the Federal University – a whole campus has been built there. It is always a pleasure to see. And look at how Sochi is developing. But these are singular results, while we need comprehensive achievements. Singular projects are not enough.

All the instruments that might have been used before, including state programs, no longer meet the objectives that we are faced with. I have already said this and would like to repeat: the difference between a National Project and a state program is that we identify specific tasks, for instance, demographic ones…

Andrei Vandenko: Seems so German.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, absolutely right – one, two, three… Yes, specific tasks. Secondly, we determine the amount of resources, the extra resources needed to fulfil these tasks. Thirdly, we appoint those responsible. We have never had this sort of targeting before.

There are certain problems arising from the fact that we have national targets and the National Projects as a means of achieving these goals. We might need to combine these elements. Some colleagues have been calling for this. All this is to be arranged and fine-tuned in the process of practical work. We cannot just wait and watch the water flow under the bridge.

Andrei Vandenko: What makes your National Projects different from Medvedev's?

Vladimir Putin: There were no Medvedev national projects, in the sense of the projects we are working on now.

Andrei Vandenko: In other words, back then it was just a campaign slogan.

Vladimir Putin: It was not a slogan; there were state programs back then. Let me point out the difference once again. A common problem was identified and then joint work was organized to tackle it. But it was unclear how to do it.

Now, as I have said, we have set the goals, for instance, demographically related ones: to reach certain thresholds on average life expectancy. To achieve these goals we allocate specific resources to fight cancer, to address cardio-vascular diseases, to improve traffic rules and to reduce road mortality rates, to build up the road network, and so on. Each issue implies personal responsibility. That is what the National Projects are all about. We have never used such tools before.

Andrei Vandenko: Are any of these National Projects under your constant control?

Vladimir Putin: All of them are.

Andrei Vandenko: All of them?

Vladimir Putin: Yes, of course.

Andrei Vandenko: In other words, in a way that…

Vladimir Putin: Yes, of course.

Andrei Vandenko: One of them that you would monitor all the time…

Vladimir Putin: Life expectancy is the main integrator.

Andrei Vandenko: I have noticed that you mentioned it three times.

Vladimir Putin: Well, it reflects all the other issues. The mortality rate should diminish and life expectancy should increase. By the way, we have certain achievements in addressing these issues – cardio-vascular diseases and tuberculosis, road accidents – the number of victims has abated, the number of fatalities, those killed in accidents, has significantly declined.

Andrei Vandenko: Yet, some skepticism remains regarding…

Vladimir Putin: Skepticism has always been there; it is here and will always be here. This is good.

Andrei Vandenko: Kudrin again said that these are not the ties that bond and are unlikely to become that.

Vladimir Putin: Skepticism always pushes forward those who must achieve concrete results.

Kudrin has been doing a good job, and when he was Minister of Finance, he advocated a strict macroeconomic policy and less spending. Now he believes that…

Andrei Vandenko: Are you being ironic?

Vladimir Putin: No, I am not. It has always been this way. I remember him well enough as Minister of Finance. He was against on every issue.

For instance, he strongly opposed building the ring road around St. Petersburg. He and Gref, the Minister of Economics and the Minister of Finance, visited me twice. They agreed to allocate funds to build the ring road around St. Petersburg only when I snapped at them. The same happened with many other projects. For instance, they were against building a bridge to Russky Island because it was too expensive. They were against certain infrastructure facilities in Sochi. “We do not need them. Too expensive,” they said. In the end, everything was built and it keeps on working and lives on, thank God.

In all cases, they kept saying that there were other more important objectives, that the macroeconomic situation must be taken care of, that the budget must not be thrown off balance. Now, he believes that we have enough resources, that we can ease our macroeconomic and fiscal policy a bit and revise the cutoff price applied to oil and gas revenues, while allocating more oil and gas income, roughly speaking, to consumption.

Andrei Vandenko: Well, the viewpoint has changed.

Vladimir Putin: The viewpoint has certainly changed, and apparently one can see better, because the viewer is no longer afraid of being socked in the eye.

Andrei Vandenko: Aha… Like that?

Vladimir Putin: Well, of course. He has no direct responsibility. And the people he worked with – his disciples to an extent – they feel somewhat perplexed.

Part 4 High-profile cases, National Guard and dispersing rallies 

(Interview to TASS)

February 26, 2020 High-Profile Cases, National Guard and Dispersing Rallies (Interview to TASS)

The fourth part of Vladimir Putin's interview to TASS News Agency.

Andrei Vandenko: When was the last time you called a judge?

Vladimir Putin: ?

Andrei Vandenko: When was the last time you called a judge?

Vladimir Putin: I never call judges. At all. I meet with judges from time to time, I mean my former university classmates. There are many judges among them.

Andrei Vandenko: What about those who are in office?

Vladimir Putin: There are some who are currently in office. However, I meet with them as my classmates and not in their capacity as judges.

Andrei Vandenko: With whom?

Vladimir Putin: With my class-… Uni mates.

Andrei Vandenko: Does that expression exist?

Vladimir Putin: Well, let's say I've invented it.

Andrei Vandenko: Do you know what case was the most high-profile in 2019?

Vladimir Putin: No.

Andrei Vandenko: The Ivan Golunov case.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, I heard about it.

Andrei Vandenko: And it became a high-profile one in part because active members of society were very disgruntled with what was done to that young man, a journalist.

Vladimir Putin: There was nothing good about it, true.

Andrei Vandenko: Most likely, he could have ended up behind bars.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, but that didn't happen.

Andrei Vandenko: It didn't happen because people got involved.

Vladimir Putin: That's good, very good.

Andrei Vandenko: Is that the only way to guarantee justice?

Vladimir Putin: Look, what I want to say is people getting involved…

Andrei Vandenko: Yes…

Vladimir Putin: That makes a difference in today’s Russia. And it's good. Currently, I think…

Andrei Vandenko: Five people have been detained…

Vladimir Putin: The situation evolves in a simple way, law enforcement agencies are looking into the matter.

Andrei Vandenko: It would have been better if the mastermind behind it all had been found.

Vladimir Putin: Some have been fired, some detained. Do you want them to beat confessions out of people or to obtain them in due course in accordance with the law? The latter seems to be a better option. But it takes time. There shouldn’t be any rush, nor any haste.

Andrei Vandenko: Konstantin Kotov as well. His case is currently being reviewed, and the Constitutional Court has ordered that… Things got going after this issue had been referred to you, to you personally, after the news conference. So, it appears that the President's personal involvement, this hands-on control does matter after all.

Vladimir Putin: It appears that the President, acting as the guarantor of the Constitution, has such a right and must respond to these sorts of issues, which we see happening in real life.

Andrei Vandenko: It turns out, as the actual figures stand… The percentage of acquittals in 2018 was 0.23 percent.

Vladimir Putin: Do you know what the prison population was in the early 2000s?

Andrei Vandenko: No idea.

Vladimir Putin: It actually halved.

Andrei Vandenko: The prison population? You mean those behind bars?

Vladimir Putin: Yes. The number halved. Decreased in an unnoticeable manner, with no fuss. In fact, it's actually a sort of revolutionary development. It has been taking place gradually, as a result of various decisions liberalising the legal responsibility of citizens who committed minor offenses or are first-time offenders, and so on. It halved.

Andrei Vandenko: You know perfectly well, I don't have to tell you that there were some cases that sparked a widespread public outcry…

Vladimir Putin: That happens.

Andrei Vandenko: Everything is judged based on just one fact.

Vladimir Putin: I understand.

Andrei Vandenko: They judge everything.

The Serebrennikov case, for instance. How much longer must it last? And you will say again that this is for the court to decide.

Vladimir Putin: Of course.

Andrei Vandenko: They have already put their signatures and names on petitions.

Vladimir Putin: Who put their signatures and names on petitions?

Andrei Vandenko: People who have prestige in society, prominent people, they penned a petition for him.

Vladimir Putin: Andrei, listen to me! The opinions of people respected in society are important. I think that the court takes into account the opinions of respected people. But still, it has to make judgments based not on their opinions, but based on the law and legal awareness.

Andrei Vandenko: Certainly. However, there was an incident, which triggered just as much of a public uproar, this concerns the Moscow rallies last summer.

Vladimir Putin: Yes.

Andrei Vandenko: When the bottle…

Vladimir Putin: Everyone can…

Andrei Vandenko: Which, in your interpretation, immediately turned into something.

Ok, somebody threw a bottle. You draw a parallel right there with Paris and Hong Kong.

Vladimir Putin: This cannot be allowed!

Today they throw a bottle, tomorrow – a chair, then cars are smashed to pieces. It cannot be allowed, things mustn’t get out of hand, it has to be within the law.

Andrei Vandenko: And the National Guard of Russia, why are the troops so vulnerable, timid?

Vladimir Putin: They are both vulnerable and timid. They are doing their job. And they must do it. Moreover, here they’re dealing with protesters, tomorrow they will face a barrage of bullets, and what’s more they take part in combat operations. And when somebody spreads information over the Internet that their children should be killed, what in the world is that? This is being said about those who, if the Motherland calls, have to put themselves in the line of fire to protect the interests of the state, society and our particular citizens? You know, this can really disrupt the country’s balance. To an extent there will be hell to pay. We can’t risk it.

Andrei Vandenko: But when nightsticks are wielded…

Vladimir Putin: Nobody resorts to swinging a nightstick without a reason.

Andrei Vandenko: Mr President…

Vladimir Putin: Please, listen to me. If people act within the existing rules and laws, who would want to swing a nightstick? On the contrary, they should be protected.

Andrei Vandenko: Watch the video.

Vladimir Putin: I believe you.

Andrei Vandenko: Showing a woman being beaten in her ribs, and then they don’t find the perpetrator – who is he or where is he?

Vladimir Putin: Most likely, you’re talking about the so-called unauthorised protests.

Andrei Vandenko: Yes.

Vladimir Putin: Well, there you have it! Get permission, go and express your opinion. After all, you see, the Internet, the mass media, including the opposition media, they will come wherever you are. Just anywhere you are, wherever you go, wherever you gather to express your discontent with the ruling authorities, since millions of people will be informed about it via the Internet and mass media. Right?

Andrei Vandenko: Yes.

Vladimir Putin: Why block traffic? In order to incite security forces into swinging their nightsticks. And then you’d ask me about it. That is the point! And nothing more!

To display what kind of heroes they are, and that they will protect the interests of citizens with the same zeal if they get into power and engage in governing. It is not enough to just blame the authorities in order to convince the electorate that those who do the blaming are exactly the people they need. It is necessary to provide a positive programme.

Andrei Vandenko: A pike lives in the lake to keep all fish awake.

Vladimir Putin: Right. That is good, but not enough to effectively develop the country.

Part 5 Brain Drain and Silicon Valley (Interview to TASS)

February 27, 2020 Brain Drain and Silicon Valley (Interview to TASS)

The fifth part of Vladimir Putin's interview to TASS News Agency.

Andrei Vandenko: Why aren’t you asking me about what I am holding in my hands?

Vladimir Putin: Well, it is an iPad, I assume.

Andrei Vandenko: Oh! We decided to check the most popular search queries for Putin.

Vladimir Putin: Ok.

Andrei Vandenko: What topics do you think our public is interested in?

Vladimir Putin: I do not know.

Andrei Vandenko: Take a look.

Vladimir Putin: Ok.

Andrei Vandenko: We can read it out loud.

Vladimir Putin: Ok. ”Putin biography“, ”Putin Instagram“, ”Putin Georgia“, ”Putin news conference 2019“, ”Putin young“, ”Putin Poland“, ”Putin family and friends“, ”Putin age“, ”Putin fired generals today“, ”Putin Nord Stream“, ”Putin Zelensky“, ”Putin lookalike proof“.

Andrei Vandenko: I like the last one – “Putin lookalike proof“. Are you the real Putin?

Vladimir Putin: Yes.

Andrei Vandenko: Do you have a double?

Vladimir Putin: No.

Andrei Vandenko: Never had one?

Vladimir Putin: No.

Andrei Vandenko: Has that topic ever popped up?

Vladimir Putin: Yes.

Andrei Vandenko: And?

Vladimir Putin: I discarded the idea of any doubles. This was during the toughest time of our war against terrorism.

Andrei Vandenko: At the beginning of the 2000s?

Vladimir Putin: Yes.

Andrei Vandenko: So that a double would go to places where it was dangerous…

Vladimir Putin: Well, he would go there, be seen…

Andrei Vandenko: So no double?

Vladimir Putin: No.

Andrei Vandenko: All right. Let us switch to another topic. Digitalization and artificial intelligence. Why is everybody dreaming of going to Silicon Valley instead of Skolkovo?

Vladimir Putin: Firstly, not everybody. The brain drain is on the decline. And in general …

Andrei Vandenko: I can tell you what it is like.

Vladimir Putin: Ok, I do not doubt that it still exists. Because people are like fish. Fish like the bottom deeper and flatter, man also looks for what is better, as a well-known saying goes.

Andrei Vandenko: What about the state?

Vladimir Putin: I will tell you about the state, too. But a skilled workforce, or let us put it differently – top-notch professionals, look for better places to employ their knowledge, capabilities, and skills. Wherever the pay is better, that is where they go. It’s as simple as that. So, the state should create conditions to attract top-ranked professionals. There are two ways of doing this.

Andrei Vandenko: Ok…

Vladimir Putin: Either we isolate ourselves the way it was done in…

Andrei Vandenko: You mean keep them from leaving?

Vladimir Putin: Grab hold of them and don’t let them out. Saddle them with some extra liabilities. For instance, someone who’s received a higher education cannot leave the country, that individual will have to work here, must either do this or that or reimburse for the cost of his tuition. And so on and so forth. This is what has been proposed for the healthcare sector. Or a labour market…

Andrei Vandenko: For oneself?

Vladimir Putin: In general, if a person studied at the government's expense, he has to either stay here and work or refund the tuition costs. This is one of the ideas.

Andrei Vandenko: And what do you think about it?

Vladimir Putin: By and large, this is a possible option. It is possible. If a person studies…

Andrei Vandenko: Sort of serfdom.

Vladimir Putin: Why? If you pay for your tuition yourself, you have the right to go anywhere and work wherever you please. But if you study at the government's expense, especially if your region pays for your tuition hoping that you’ll come back…

Andrei Vandenko: I agree.

Vladimir Putin: Then it is quite fair. If you do not want to work there or if you are unable to comply with the terms of the contract, then you are expected to refund the tuition costs. That’s quite fair.

The other option is to create conditions, to pay better. As you know, it just seems easy. Civil aviation began to pay decent salaries because it needed foreign experts, and this resulted in a labour market imbalance. It affected military pilots who eagerly began to leave the armed forces, flocking to work as co-pilots on civilian airlines. The same is happening here.

So, we should think over this matter. There is a need to raise salaries, but how do we do this? One option is through grants. We have just developed a vast system of grants. It encompasses not only the IT segment, but also the high-tech industry in general. And it works well.

I guess you have some statistics ready on how many people are leaving. But take a look at how many people are coming in. There is an influx now.

Andrei Vandenko: The number of people leaving every year is exactly the same as the number of those employed at

Vladimir Putin: Maybe. But keeps making progress as well. You see? Yandex is thriving too.

Andrei Vandenko: So it is an annual rotation…

Vladimir Putin: Listen, Yandex is developing as well. They did not exist in the past, but now they do. And they compete well with major global companies, including Google. This proves there is progress.

It is impossible to keep them all here. Or maybe, we should not train as many people. It is a lose-lose situation. There are also people who return. And their number is not as meagre as you may think. I met them, the recipients of the so-called megagrants and ordinary grants. They are very interesting people, with good professional experience both in our country and abroad.

Many of them have a strong desire to return. And we are bringing many of them back, we are creating conditions for them and setting up laboratories, along with offering them special salary packages. You know what I found quite interesting and what made me happy? Not only do they want to work themselves, but they also want to bring on board our young people and postgraduates, and form research, development and production groups with them. And they are doing rather well. They are making progress in different areas: genetics, biology, digital technologies, artificial intelligence, and robotics.

Andrei Vandenko: In other words, it is not something like ‘just let them leave, and another generation will arise’.

Vladimir Putin: No, nothing like that. That is not our approach. But it is a long and complicated process.

Andrei Vandenko: And how do you generally feel about the innovations of the last 20 years, I mean electric cars, iPhones, smartphones, and the like.

Vladimir Putin: Technological progress cannot be stopped, nor should it be. We have no plans to do it.

Andrei Vandenko: Do you feel comfortable with that? Do you use it?

Vladimir Putin: I feel comfortable because I do not use any of these devices. I simply have other opportunities.

Andrei Vandenko: I saw you calling my namesake, the boy who was skiing at the Krasnaya Polyana resort at your invitation. You were using a smartphone.

Vladimir Putin: Well, indeed, I do call…

Andrei Vandenko: I did not catch the model. You were holding it in a way…

Vladimir Putin: Your friend Peskov gave it to me so that I could make a call. In all other situations, it is much easier for me to use a dedicated secure line to be connected to any number.

Part 6 On the Army and the Arms Race (Interview to TASS)

March 02, 2020 On army and arms race (Interview to TASS)

The sixth part of Vladimir Putin's interview to TASS News Agency.

Andrei Vandenko: The army.

Vladimir Putin: Ok, and…?

Andrei Vandenko: ”The armour is strong and our tanks are fast“, right?

Vladimir Putin: Sure. Az okh un vey! [Yiddish expression.] ”And our tanks are fast.“

Andrei Vandenko: Who are we going to fight against?

Vladimir Putin: We are not going to fight against anyone. We are going to create conditions so that nobody wants to fight against us, so that such idea hits nobody.

Andrei Vandenko: There is a notion of reasonable adequacy.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, there is. That’s what we adhere to.

Today we rank seventh as far as military spending goes. The US has outstripped us, Donald [Trump] told me, they have approved a huge budget for the next year, $738 billion, I think.

Andrei Vandenko: Did he brag?

Vladimir Putin: No, he said this with regret. He said the costs were too high. But he had to do it. He actually advocated disarmament, as he said.

Andrei Vandenko: Why then won’t he sign all those treaties?

Vladimir Putin: That is another question. This is a question of how one understands security and how to ensure it. We can discuss this topic.

Andrei Vandenko: With him or with me?

Vladimir Putin: I can discuss it both with him and with you. Doesn’t matter. I'm well-versed on this issue, I can discuss it with anyone.

I think this is actually a mistake. The New START should be extended. But this is another issue.

So, the US is ranked first in terms of spending, while China comes in second. Saudi Arabia, strangely enough, is ranked third, then comes Great Britain, France, and Japan. Japan has surpassed us, as we come in seventh. Moreover, our spending is falling each and every year. In contrast, other countries’ military spending has been rising.

And we are not going to fight against anybody, but we are creating such a situation in the defence sector so that nobody even dares to think about fighting us. And now there is a unique situation, I have recently spoken about it at the Defense Ministry. This is the first time in modern Russia. We always had to catch up with our, figuratively speaking, competitors.

The first atomic bomb was created by the Americans. We caught up with them. Then the first strategic aircraft to deliver these weapons were also made by the Americans. We caught up to them, again. The first missiles were developed by the Americans. We still caught up. For the first time, we have created such offensive strike systems which the world has never seen. Now they are trying to catch up with us. This is a unique situation. This has never happened before. I mean, first of all, hypersonic offensive systems, including intercontinental ones.

In 2000, slightly over 1,300,000 people served in our army, now – a little more than a million. We increased the share of modern equipment by just 1 percent a year back then. The share of modern equipment was only 6 percent. And now, do you know how much, do you? Almost 70 [percent].

Andrei Vandenko: It's just like Chekhov’s principle, if there is a hypersonic rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it will unquestionably go off.

Vladimir Putin: That may be true for the theatre. Security and political reality are governed by another rule. Do you know which one? It will go off if it is hanging just on one stage. And if a similar rifle is hanging on a stage close by, it is unlikely that anyone near it would want to use it.

This is exactly the situation that is called strategic stability and the balance of power. Due to this strategic balance, the world has avoided major military conflicts after World War II. Precisely thanks to this strategic stability and strategic balance. By the way, while developing their anti-ballistic missile system, the Americans wanted to upset this strategic stability and balance thinking that if they created a missile defence umbrella, the other side wouldn’t be able to respond adequately if they use nuclear weapons. However, after having developed these modern systems, including those which easily evade any anti-missile ballistic system, we maintain this strategic stability and strategic balance. It is essential not only for us, but also for global security.

Part 7 On Civil Society and Foreign Agents (Interview to TASS)

March 03, 2020 On civil society and foreign agents (Interview to TASS)

The seventh part of Vladimir Putin's interview to TASS News Agency.

Andrei Vandenko: (Sighs.)… Civil society.

Vladimir Putin: Why did you sigh so heavily?

Andrei Vandenko: Because the next question will be, why do the authorities prefer to communicate with the active part of society by using nightsticks?

Vladimir Putin: That is not true.

The most active part of society is not just the so-called non-systemic opposition that breaks existing laws. Why do you reduce the active part of society like that?

The active part of society is also about volunteers, and we have millions, millions of them. They too represent the active part of society – young, capable, active people working in all the different areas – education, healthcare, environmental protection. They actively help others, and this is great.

You know, I sometimes look at them in awe, almost with tears in my eyes, because these people really do a great job. There has always been and always will be a certain part of society in any country that disagrees with the authorities in power. And it is very good that such people exist.

By the way, please note that if some revolutionary events occur, as a rule, those people who masterminded these events don’t stay in power for long. Very quickly they become uncomfortable with the authority their teeming activity has created.

The Bolsheviks were perhaps the sole exception as they remained in power after the October coup d’état for a rather long time. But then… the whole Bolshevik thing fell apart and dragged the country along.

But as far as the so-called non-systemic opposition is concerned, God bless them, I feel we need it. After all, you do understand this is not my first day on the job. I believe that we need them very much. I can see that they have a real influence on specific life, especially at the level of municipalities, major cities, and so on.

Andrei Vandenko: Why weren’t they clamped down?

Vladimir Putin: I will tell you why. Because there are rules for everyone to follow: for those who like the authorities and for those who don’t, alike. There is law and it should be observed, otherwise we will find ourselves in a situation when the country is totally disbalanced.

Do we want cars to be burnt in our streets?

Andrei Vandenko: When was it that cars were burnt in our streets? The last time it happened was after the defeat of our national team in Japan…

Vladimir Putin: If there is no response, they will be burnt. Shop windows will be smashed to pieces and people will be harmed.

You want to express your viewpoint, your opinion, and you want to do it through public protest? You are welcome to do so. The law permits it. Get permission and go ahead.

In some countries, in almost every country, even in European ones, unauthorised protests are punishable by incarceration. The prison terms are not very long, from 6 to 12 months.

But, in some countries, unauthorised protests involving 12 people, I think, somewhere in Sweden, they are considered civil unrest. Those can get you 5 or 10 years behind bars. We don’t have that, you see?

Andrei Vandenko: Well, three years.

Vladimir Putin: Three is less than ten.

Andrei Vandenko: That’s still quite a bit.

Vladimir Putin: Quite a bit. So, do not break the law.

Andrei Vandenko: That’s a separate topic, we can discuss it for a long time: a request was filed, but not approved, then protestors took to the streets, meant nothing bad, and so on. Then you will never make heads or tails of who hit whom. Who stole whose fur coat?

Vladimir Putin: That’s not important who or whose. Seek to obtain such permission. It’s the same procedure abroad too, they too need permission and get it. No permission – no protest. No permission but you nevertheless go ahead with the protest – be ready to get ‘shaved’.

Andrei Vandenko: Hm, ok.

Vladimir Putin: Take a rest, relax a little…

Andrei Vandenko: You mean crop close?

Vladimir Putin: Of course. What else?

Andrei Vandenko: For three years? Or five?

Vladimir Putin: As the court rules.

Andrei Vandenko: Court again?

And the foreign agent status?

Vladimir Putin: What about the foreign agent status? We were not the ones to invent it. Did we come up with the foreign agent status? Since 1938 or 1937, I think, since 1938, this law has been in effect in the USA, they still use it.

Andrei Vandenko: Why does it matter? I beg your pardon, but in certain countries, Jews were forced to wear yellow stars on their clothes. So? What difference does it make who invented what?

Vladimir Putin: What do yellow stars have to do with any of this?

Andrei Vandenko: But it’s a mark!

Vladimir Putin: … and the Holocaust?

No, there is a big difference. The United States of America is not Nazi Germany and it should not be blamed

Andrei Vandenko: I drew a parallel…

Vladimir Putin: …for what it is not responsible at all. It was a bad parallel, unfair and having nothing to do with reality.

Andrei Vandenko: Meaning we stand up for America?

Vladimir Putin: I stood up for America – in this case, yes, I did it.

But they invented this law and have been actively using it, including a very recent case. Our citizen, a woman (she later became quite famous) was jailed as a foreign agent. Excuse me, but she was facing a 12-year sentence there. Right?

So what? They use it. We have no such thing. We only have an administrative penalty for this. And what is the purpose of that law? It exists simply to protect Russia from external meddling in its politics. There is no other purpose.

While some countries prohibit the activity of such organisations, we don’t ban it. They are free to keep working. By the way, this practice is a well-established one. They continue to work.

However, they are required to report if they receive funding from abroad and are engaged in internal political activity. Nobody’s rights are being infringed on here whatsoever. There is nothing that runs counter to international practice.

Some may be reluctant to say: yes, I am involved in domestic political affairs and I am doing that with the money I get from a foreign source, with foreign money. But that’s not fair. They’d better admit it and continue their activity.

So, the question is different. And there is a question. And I believe that human rights activists are right in drawing my attention to this. We need to have a very clear idea of what internal political activity is. We need to ensure that there are no misconceptions. And we need to ensure that no other activity – involving humanitarian matters, for instance, public health or environmental protection – is used as a disguise to engage in domestic political affairs.

Andrei Vandenko: So foreign agents exist only in politics?

Vladimir Putin: Absolutely. This is only about domestic political activity and the funding of that activity from foreign sources.

Part 8 On Stability and Stagnation in the Economy (Interview to TASS)

March 04, 2020 On stability and stagnation in economy (Interview to TASS)

The eighth part of Vladimir Putin's interview to TASS News Agency.

Andrei Vandenko: Stability or stagnation? How does economic stability differ from stagnation?

Vladimir Putin: This is very simple. Economic stability is the foundation for development. Overall, stability is always the foundation for development, while stagnation is basically backpedaling without any development. That is the main difference.

Andrei Vandenko: Look, during the first decade of your tenure everything was booming.

Vladimir Putin: Yes.

Andrei Vandenko: Then, around 2008, we set off on bolstering our health by jogging in place.

Vladimir Putin: Well, firstly, it is very healthy. I will get to that – it is important. Secondly, the question is what benchmark we started from in 1999 and 2000. It was minimal, in fact, a pittance. Because then, if we begin with the key issue here, 42 million people lived below the poverty line. A third of the country’s population. Nowadays this number is still high at 13.5 million. But this is not a third, not 42 million. Nevertheless, it is still a lot. And we must combat this.

Vladimir Putin: Back then, the gold and forex reserves stood at $12.5 billion, and the national debt came to 145 billion. There was no end in sight; it was unclear how to sort it out. Since then and until now – as I say this, people may start having doubts, but this is a fact – real wages have grown by 4.2 per cent. Pensions have almost tripled (2.9 times). Real incomes have jumped 2.4 times.

Andrei Vandenko: Do you mean since 2000?

Vladimir Putin: Yes, since 2000.Those are definitely real things. Now, this does not mean that everything is fine today. Not at all. On the contrary. Moreover, people do not make comparisons with what it was like before, when it was bad, but rather with how good it is supposed to be in the future. When they see that their desires are not met, they feel let down. Frankly speaking, I agree with this perspective.

Andrei Vandenko: Especially since you made a promise. In 2008, we heard that by 2020 the average wage would be around $2,700. A family of three would have a 100-square-meter flat…

Vladimir Putin: Well, this is not quite correct. Those were preliminary plans.

Andrei Vandenko: Yes, plans. The so-called 2020 Concept.

Vladimir Putin: We planned to double our GDP by 2008 and based on this we compiled our social plans accordingly. In 2008, we had practically reached our goals. Then, the global financial crisis struck, not by any fault of ours, it came from beyond our borders. As a result, a far more urgent task appeared that we had to tackle. I want to remind everybody that here it was essential to prevent the economy from collapsing and the public’s savings from being wiped out. This was in 2008. I became Prime Minister then and had to publicly announce – this was a huge risk, frankly speaking – I announced that…

Andrei Vandenko: The risk was you being Prime Minister?

Vladimir Putin: No, it was what I said. What I said was this. I stated that I would prevent a repeat of the 1998 crisis, when all of the public’s savings had been wiped out. And we prevented that. But, indeed, it had a negative impact on our development. Honestly, we were not to blame for it. That global financial meltdown and the economic crisis that followed came from the outside.

Andrei Vandenko: I see. But incomes, real incomes have been on the decline in recent years.

Vladimir Putin: True. We are concerned about this; I am deeply concerned that this sort of stagnation has hit real incomes. There is an explanation. First and foremost, it is connected with a drastic drop in energy prices. Everything kept growing as long as oil was at $100 per barrel or higher. Now it is $60. Do you see the difference? It has practically halved. This explains why we launched these National Projects with the aim of changing the economy's structure and promoting self-sustaining development. But people cannot afford to wait for years, I understand this perfectly. I certainly understand that this is one of today’s key social issues. We need to do something about this. The government is obliged to do something to give it a boost. There are many ways.

Andrei Vandenko: Does anyone bear personal responsibility for the falling revenues and the rise in poverty? The latest figures show that the number has been on the rebound.

Vladimir Putin: Well, there were 13.4 million, now there are 13.5 million. The difference is not very big, but it does exist. These are real people. What can we say about personal responsibility at a time when world oil prices have slumped? What can we say about personal responsibility, if…?

Andrei Vandenko: But we wanted to wean ourselves off oil dependency.

Vladimir Putin: We wanted to do that, and we are gradually doing it, by the way. We are really moving away from it, because the share of non-oil and gas revenue is growing. But this requires time, and it cannot be done at the drop of a hat.

Andrei Vandenko: There has been a lot of talk about inflation; it is reducing, but people are more concerned about what they see in their refrigerators.

Vladimir Putin: True.

Andrei Vandenko: Macroeconomic figures may look good, but…

Vladimir Putin: Try to see my point. Low inflation means that prices go up very slowly or do not grow at all.

Andrei Vandenko: But they do go up.

Vladimir Putin: But slowly. Since the 2000s that you started from…

Andrei Vandenko: You did.

Vladimir Putin: Well, the 20 questions, that is where you started.

Andrei Vandenko: Well, yes.

Vladimir Putin: We had an inflation rate of 20.5 percent, I believe. And in 1999, when I became Prime Minister, it was 36 percent, or 35 percent, I believe. And in 1992, inflation was 2,600 percent. Now it is hovering around 3.4 to 3.5 percent. And that covers food prices. And people feel the bite of rising inflation since prices go up, taking a toll on people's wallets. It is another thing that along with targeting inflation, the public’s disposable incomes need to be raised. This is obvious. It is quite obvious. In the context of our economic structure, it is not that simple. But the Government is certainly obliged to make additional efforts. This is precisely what we are discussing.

Part 9 On Support to Talented Youth (Interview to TASS)pan>

March 5, 2020 On support to talented youth (Interview to TASS)

The ninth part of Vladimir Putin's interview to TASS News Agency.

Andrei Vandenko: All paths are open to our young people, one would like to believe.

Vladimir Putin: I hope so.

Andrei Vandenko: Have you heard this meme: ”How do you like it, Elon Musk?“

Vladimir Putin: No, I have not.

Andrei Vandenko: But have you heard about Elon Musk?

Vladimir Putin: Yes, of course.

Andrei Vandenko: He is launching a Tesla, while Rogozin is creating an elevator to the moon.

Vladimir Putin: An elevator to the moon? And so?

Andrei Vandenko: They are in different leagues.

Vladimir Putin: I can give you different examples. A group of young people from a graduating class showed up. This whole group of people came.

Andrei Vandenko: Where?

Vladimir Putin: To one of our institutes and created the Iskander. This group of young people from a graduating class showed up and in a few years, they created the Iskander. One of our cutting-edge weapons that we are proud of. The best in the world.

Young people showed up and created the Peresvet. This is an example from the defense industry. But they did it.

Andrei Vandenko: So, let them create a Tesla-like passenger car.

Vladimir Putin: Prokhorov said he would make…

Andrei Vandenko: An airplane.

Vladimir Putin: He did not succeed yet.

Andrei Vandenko: Ah, yes, the Yo-mobile.

Vladimir Putin: He promised; he showed it to me. I even went for a ride in it. But it has not been working for him so far.

In the high-tech field and in the nuclear sphere we have been making great strides. We have outperformed everyone; we are the world's largest manufacturer of nuclear units for power plants. Not weapons, mind you. This is state-of-the-art technology. It is developing very rapidly.

If we look at military equipment, say military aviation, we are really on top here. We will continue moving forward in the civilian sector as well. We already have our own pharmaceutical products, very good ones. And so on. Gradually, it is gaining momentum.

Andrei Vandenko: I meant something different.

Vladimir Putin: What?

Andrei Vandenko: When I mentioned Musk. He is not exactly an idol, but some sort of a role model.

Vladimir Putin: Fine, but…

Andrei Vandenko: Whom can we offer as an alternative, not an American…?

Vladimir Putin: We have Kaspersky. I believe he is really good at what he does. He is a leader, without a doubt.

If the screws had not been tightened, if competition had not been artificially stifled, it would have been much better. This is what comes to mind right away.

Andrei Vandenko: How do you feel about the fact that according to one of the opinion polls half of the young people want to leave the country?

Vladimir Putin: There are all sorts of opinion polls. And target groups can also differ. Some want to leave, others want to return. As I have already said, the latter’s numbers are on the rise.

Certainly, if we want our people to fulfill their ambitions in their own country, the state must boost its efforts to ensure this. And we will do so.

I think that the number of good specialists is steadily growing and the fact that our specialists find employment in the global labor market means that we provide a good higher education.

Andrei Vandenko: Does the Leaders of Russia contest live up to your expectations?

Vladimir Putin: Yes, of course. They are really great guys. However, not only do we have the Leaders of Russia contest, there is also Russia – Land of Opportunity, with a whole set of mechanisms that seem to be working very efficiently.

Andrei Vandenko: And what do you think the criterion is? Is it the number of public appointees or the number of proposals coming from…?

Vladimir Putin: Among the contests I mentioned, we do not have a single contest for a specific job or office.

We simply allow people to expand their knowledge and capabilities even more, yet simultaneously, when working with these people, representatives of major corporations or ministries and agencies pick out future employees.

Actually, by doing so we have already found ministers, deputy ministers and even governors and deputy governors. This is a very good social elevator.

Andrei Vandenko: The Sirius project also represents such a new experience. I mean the Sirius center.

Vladimir Putin: Sirius is a little different.

Andrei Vandenko: Of course. It applies to young people, I mean.

Vladimir Putin: Absolutely, but this is a method of working with gifted children. We have never had… Well, we did.

Andrei Vandenko: In Soviet times?

Vladimir Putin: Yes, we did… Actually, when I was deciding to create Sirius I… By the way, do you know how this idea emerged?

Andrei Vandenko: No, I do not.

Vladimir Putin: Olympic facilities in the Imereti Valley. Suggestions immediately started coming in to dismantle something and relocate it somewhere. But dismantling and relocating would cost us about the same as constructing something new. It would be better to change the location, and finally I decided to build something new in some other place.

But how do we make use of what is available? At first, a simple, even primitive, thought entered my mind: to use these facilities for children's sports. But later I thought, why just for sports? We inherited a system of advanced education and training from the USSR. I mean physics and mathematics schools, biology schools, then music colleges at conservatories, ballet schools. We are proud of all this.

And, of course, sports, that is figure skating, our prestigious sports where we have good capabilities and where we have been successful, and hockey. So, I came up with an idea of putting this together.

Andrei Vandenko: Do you mean the original idea was yours?

Vladimir Putin: Yes, yes, I came up with it.

A colleague of mine who was invited there said to one of his colleagues, ”He is not going to succeed“. When asked why, he said, “To begin with, your hockey players will beat up the math whiz kids.”

Yet, nothing of the kind has occurred there. Because kids, even powerful athletic lads, respect their peers who achieve noticeable success in their fields because they know that this requires great effort and talent.

So, Sirius… By the way, I was the one who came up with the name as well. I was sitting and thinking about a name and suddenly I recalled that the brightest star in the sky is Sirius.

It brings together the brightest kids. That is why I proposed this name. And the name stuck.

Andrei Vandenko: It could not have been otherwise

Vladimir Putin: But why?

Andrei Vandenko: Putin said so.

Vladimir Putin: Anything can happen.

Here, we use the system of selecting gifted kids established back in the Soviet Union. I mean these physics and mathematics schools, biology schools, music schools and so on.

From these schools, every 21 days we pick a group of kids for Sirius and arrange 21‑day training courses for them. Then we pick out those with the best potential. It turned out to be a very good idea.

Moreover, do you know what is interesting and what I especially like about this? Here, we see athletes communicating with math geniuses while math geniuses may go to see a hockey match or ballet performance for the first time. Thus, they get involved in physical fitness. This is really great. I like this very much.

The next step should be to create a modern university. We have already set up a scientific cluster of laboratories there specializing in such priority fields. There are several of them, four, I believe.

Then we intend to create a technology park there consisting of a school, a university, and a scientific laboratory, and the techno park where innovations can materialize. We will link the whole process.

Part 10 On Memory of Great Patriotic War, Stalin and Hitler (Interview to TASS)

March 10, 2020 On Memory of Great Patriotic War, Stalin and Hitler (Interview to TASS)

The tenth part of Vladimir Putin's interview to TASS News Agency.

Andrei Vandenko: Victory. The 75th anniversary. Do you believe that it is fundamentally important that all leaders come?

Vladimir Putin: Not at all. It is our holiday. But I think that for our former allies in the anti-Hitler coalition the right thing to do would be to come here, from both a domestic policy stance and a moral one. We look forward to seeing them and we will be glad if they come. If not, well, that is their choice. But I think that would be a mistake for them.

Andrei Vandenko: Do you get the feeling that they want to deprive us of this victory?

Vladimir Putin: No, I do not. That is impossible. It would go against common sense. You see, there are some ignorant people who cannot even write or read. They spout all kinds of garbage in the European Parliament about the ‘equal’ responsibility of Hitler and Stalin. Complete nonsense. You have to look at the chain of events starting around 1918–1919, and at what was going on then, who signed what with Hitler. Incidentally, Stalin, regardless of what anyone thinks of him (that he was a tyrant or whatever), never disgraced himself by having direct or face-to-face contact with Hitler. What is more, not a single document was ever signed by both Stalin and Hitler.

In contrast, there are documents signed by both Hitler and the British Prime Minister, Hitler and the Prime Minister of France. And also by both Hitler and the leader of Poland. And they worked with him, with Hitler, held numerous meetings with him, and betrayed Czechoslovakia. Poland carved up Czechoslovakia with Hitler. In fact, they agreed on invading Czechoslovakia. The only thing that Hitler told them was, ”Do not do it on the same day with us. Let us not get in each other’s way. We do not want what you are after, Tesin Region.“ This was outright collusion. Just read it. Everything is in the documents. I dug them up from the archives. I looked through them and read them.

Andrei Vandenko: Yes, we read and heard about it.

Vladimir Putin: Of course, everything is in there. And after that they tell us who is to blame. They are the ones who are guilty starting from 1938. It was precisely the Munich Betrayal that was the first step to ignite World War II.

Andrei Vandenko: Poland places the Soviet Union on the same footing as… Warsaw officially equates the Soviet Union to Hitler’s Germany, equally blaming both sides and accusing both countries of unleashing World War II. And we immediately reach for our boxing gloves.

Vladimir Putin: We are not doing that. We have condemned the Molotov–Ribbentrop secret protocol. Russia has done that. In turn, other countries could also honestly say how they feel about the way their leadership acted back then. Let them honestly open up about it, instead of hurling some fictitious, absolutely baseless accusations and allegations.

Andrei Vandenko: You are talking about the past, while I am focusing on today. Look…

Vladimir Putin: No-no-no.

Andrei Vandenko: Polish leaders did not invite you to the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz.

Vladimir Putin: This is not a big deal.

Andrei Vandenko: However, Zelensky attended the event and was talking about the 1st Ukrainian Front, the 100th Lvov Division…

Vladimir Putin: We all know this is nonsense. We know that this is about today's political landscape. But what about the millions of Ukrainians who fought against Hitler, and against Nazism? To them, this is a slap in the face. I assure you. They are just afraid to open their mouth because they know they will immediately be subjected to intimidation. I know how people feel in their hearts, those who took up arms to battle Nazism. This is a slap in the face to them. But Ukraine’s incumbent president wants to look good in the eyes of Poland’s current government, and in my opinion, this is a terrible mistake.

Andrei Vandenko: And what do you think of slogans like ”We can do it again“ in the run-up to May 9…

Vladimir Putin: What slogans?

Andrei Vandenko: You know, the ones usually seen on the back of a BMW or a Mercedes on May 9, ”We can do it again“, ”To Berlin!“, ”Thank you Grandpa for the Victory“…

Vladimir Putin: “Thank you Grandpa for the Victory” is a good one.

Andrei Vandenko: What about ”We can do it again“?

Vladimir Putin: You know what? It could be interpreted in many ways. The Soviet Union was subjected to a dreadful, horrible, unforgivable attack by Nazi Germany. We lost 27 million people. No other country in the world sustained such an enormous loss. Therefore, if anyone ever dares to try anything like that again, “we can do it again”.

Andrei Vandenko: Well, it would have been better if we never had to.

Vladimir Putin: Of course, we never wanted it and never will. Accordingly, the Russian leadership has never looked at this issue from that angle. Therefore, if we consider the slogan you mentioned from this perspective, it is enough to recall the words of Alexander Nevsky, ”Whosoever comes with a sword will fall by the sword.“

Part 11 Russia on the Global Stage and Relations with the United States

(Interview to TASS)

March 11, 2020 Russia on the global stage and relations with the United States (interview to TASS)

The eleventh part of Vladimir Putin's interview to TASS News Agency.

Andrei Vandenko: So you addressed Trump as ‘Donald’, in a friendly way.

Vladimir Putin: He calls me Vladimir, I call him Donald.

Andrei Vandenko: I mean, you have worked with four American presidents. Once Bush saw something in your eyes…

Vladimir Putin: Yes…

Andrei Vandenko: But things did not go well with Obama, is that correct?

Vladimir Putin: Well…

Andrei Vandenko: Who was it that you felt most at ease with?

Vladimir Putin: It is difficult for me to say now. Indeed, I had fairly constructive relations with each of them.

Andrei Vandenko: But it did not go well with Obama.

Vladimir Putin: Did it or didn’t… I had good relations with Bush.

Andrei Vandenko: Did somebody put you at odds with him?

Vladimir Putin: What?

Andrei Vandenko: Did somebody put you at odds with him?

Vladimir Putin: No, it has nothing to do with ‘being at odds’. It's just that, when a person says that…

Andrei Vandenko: Do you mean Barack?

Vladimir Putin: Sorry?

Andrei Vandenko: Do you mean Barack?

Vladimir Putin: Yes. He already stated that the US is an exceptional nation, with special, exclusive rights to practically the entire the world, I cannot go along with that. God created us all equal and gave us equal rights. So, I think it is absolutely ungrounded to say that some people should have exclusive rights to anything.

Andrei Vandenko: On a scale from one to five, not to make it too complicated, how would you rate Russia’s current relationship with the US?

Vladimir Putin: I would give it a three.

Andrei Vandenko: A three? Not bad.

Vladimir Putin: Between a two and a three. More like a three though. Look…

Andrei Vandenko: And how about earlier?

Vladimir Putin: Look, we do cooperate on counter-terrorism. I’m serious… It was actually me who called Trump to thank the US for giving us the information.

Andrei Vandenko: You mean on the St Petersburg cell?

Vladimir Putin: Yes. They had been looking into them for a long time. And after that, the FBI provided this information to the Federal Security Service.

Andrei Vandenko: Does it mean that the Americans are working better than us on our own soil?

Vladimir Putin: They work… I am not going to talk about it now, because this information is classified. They work globally.

Andrei Vandenko: I won’t tell anyone.

Vladimir Putin: I'll whisper in your ear afterwards.

Andrei Vandenko: Deal.

Vladimir Putin: They work globally, and so do we.

Andrei Vandenko: Ok.

Vladimir Putin: But they were the ones who tracked this case down. That time, we did not. Our services track down a lot of them, thus preventing dozens of terrorist attacks, they catch and intercept them. Several dozen a year. That specific case was detected by the US. I would like to thank them a lot for sharing that information with us.

Andrei Vandenko: So it’s a three now, but what was the peak rate?

Vladimir Putin: Well, let’s see… Trade turnover used to be higher, it dropped to 20 from 28, still very low. But in the last two years, under Trump, trade turnover started to grow.

In terms of security, a while ago we concluded an agreement with Obama, the New START was also signed when he was in office. Now it has not been extended. Just yet. So this raises a question.

The US keeps imposing sanctions on Russia. Another question. Take Nord Stream 2, they imposed sanctions on it as well. The US has always been against the development of our economic relations with Europe, even in the 1960s, when we launched the construction, you remember, the gas-for-pipes deal. Thank God, now we produce large-diameter pipes ourselves, which is, by the way, another recent achievement of our white metallurgy and other sectors. 75 percent, and it is crucial, 75 percent of facilities in our manufacturing sector, as well as machinery and equipment, have been manufactured in recent years, in the last 10 to 15 years. This is quite an achievement. They have always been against it. Against Nord Stream 1 – they did oppose it, now they oppose Nord Stream 2 in the same manner.

So why did they do it, what for? What was the reason – to ensure transit through Ukraine. Looks a bit strange too, doesn’t it? So they are wooing Ukraine and have introduced external control over it, but they want Ukraine to be sustained by our money as well. They don’t want to give Ukraine money themselves. They want Ukraine to receive something from us through transit fees. Ok, we agree, because following from the growth of gas consumption in Europe in general and in Ukraine in particular, we, too, will be interested in it and we will go on with gas transit. The volumes will be lower, but we will continue.

However, the main motivation, the excuse for imposing sanctions against Nord Stream 2 was the need to ensure transit through Ukraine. We have signed a transit agreement with Ukraine. So, what is needed now? Sanctions against Nord Stream should be lifted. There are no grounds for imposing them. And if the sanctions remain, it will mean that there is only one motive – to ensure competitive advantages for their LNG, for their liquefied gas.

Andrei Vandenko: The strongest player sets the rules.

Vladimir Putin: They are securing a market for their products, exclusively in their own selfish interests and at the expense of European consumers. But if the price of a fossil fuel rises by 25 to 30 percent, the competitiveness of the German economy, as well as the European one, will be undermined.

Andrei Vandenko: But in fact, in geopolitical terms, Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok does not exist anymore.

Vladimir Putin: But it never existed. ‘Anymore!’ You’re talking now about something which never existed, as if it is something we have lost. Back in the day, de Gaulle spoke about a Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals. Then I extended that idea a little, and started saying: why to the Urals, why not to the Pacific, to the Far East? But I think we should aim for it.

Andrei Vandenko: Was your Munich speech an overreaction?

Vladimir Putin: Not at all. Now they repeat everything I said. For example, the German leaders. They almost repeat it word for word… They were mad at me at the time, angry with me, they said, why did you do that?

Andrei Vandenko: They took offense.

Vladimir Putin: No. Got angry because, well, it was a bit rude, at the wrong time; ‘why would you do that’. And what did I say? I said that it is inadmissible that one country, the United States, extends its jurisdiction beyond its national borders.

Today, say, the German leadership says exactly that, that it is inadmissible that the United States imposes secondary sanctions, i.e. on companies, that have no relation to the United States, trying to prevent them from pursuing their national interests.

Andrei Vandenko: Not only distant, but also our close neighbours started to distance themselves from us in a way.

Vladimir Putin: Well, I don't see that. Who exactly started to distance themselves?

Andrei Vandenko: Take Georgia, for instance.

Vladimir Putin: They didn’t just distance themselves – they jumped aside. Through no fault of ours. They should thank Mikheil Nikolayevich [Saakashvili] for that.

Andrei Vandenko: But he hasn't been around for a long time.

Vladimir Putin: Not at all! He is running around, from square to square, taking to rooftops, like a tomcat. We had a lot of discussions with him on the subject when he was still president. I think Mikheil Saakashvili would recall that. I told him: ‘Listen, don't you ever try to deal with South Ossetia and Abkhazia using force.’ ‘No, I'll never do that,’ he said. And he still stormed in. He stormed in and got knocked back!

Part 12 Business, Big and Small (Interview to TASS)

March 12, 2020 Business, Big and Small  (interview to TASS)

The twelfth part of Vladimir Putin's interview to TASS News Agency.

Andrei Vandenko: Business could extend a helping hand.

Vladimir Putin: What do you mean?

Andrei Vandenko: If it is more actively involved in the country’s affairs, if there is investment, the economy will begin to grow.

Vladimir Putin: I can crack down on business right away and tell them they act irresponsibly. This is not the case.

Russian business in general has changed a great deal over the past ten years at least. The government has to create conditions for investment – this is for sure. To create better conditions involving controlling inflation.

We have been doing certain things in this respect. In the World Bank’s Doing Business ranking, we are in the 28th place, I think, we have moved up by one order more, massively more. This indicates that the government has been stepping up its efforts in this area, which are yielding positive results.

And the amount of investment is growing. In dollar terms, our investment in the beginning of the 2000s totalled around one billion dollars. Then there were tens of billions. Now direct investment exceeds $540 billion.

Andrei Vandenko: You know, it looks like you see businessmen as swindlers by definition.

Vladimir Putin: Well, you know…

Andrei Vandenko: There are some…

Vladimir Putin: There are certain grounds for this, you see. I’m saying this with a particular emphasis. What grounds are there? Firstly, the so-called small business throughout the 2000s was associated with trade. Almost entirely.

Andrei Vandenko: Not only in Russia.

Vladimir Putin: No, I disagree. In many so-called developed market economies, small business plays a very big role, there 20..

Andrei Vandenko: In the services sector, right?

Vladimir Putin: Not only there. In manufacturing, too. We have been trying to achieve what is already a reality in developed market economies. Namely: large companies have dozens or even hundreds of small businesses working close to them and serving the interests of those large companies.

What are we doing now? In fact, we are forcing our large companies, in particular those that are partially state-owned, to conclude contracts with small businesses. We are talking about trillions here already. And it really worked. This rally worked.

The structure of small businesses has begun to change. Now it’s no longer just retail trade like kiosks or pavilions, it’s not only about buying low and selling high. Now there are research business ventures, too. And small businesses in manufacturing. High-tech small businesses. They are rather effective. The export of these services and goods is growing, too. This is what makes me think we are moving in the right direction in principle, although progress is still, unfortunately, too slow.

Andrei Vandenko: Did I understand correctly, that ‘retailer’ is equal to ‘swindler’?

Vladimir Putin: In people’s minds, that’s what we say.

Andrei Vandenko: But I am talking about you.

Vladimir Putin: I am part of the same people, you know.

Andrei Vandenko: I see.

Vladimir Putin: So, honestly speaking, I mean, to be really honest. We all think so. But I…

Andrei Vandenko: Have you ever been swindled, cheated?

Vladimir Putin: Me?

Andrei Vandenko: You.

Vladimir Putin: Well, of course. You yourself have surely been swindled and cheated, too.

Andrei Vandenko: And what happened to those who did it?

Vladimir Putin: Nothing. You know, there was not much you could do during Soviet times. You got swindled, cheated and just lived with it.

Andrei Vandenko: But what if you caught them on the spot?

Vladimir Putin: Well, you know, first of all, it's not like I got cheated every day. But if I happened to notice it, there never was anything too serious, and I preferred not to lock horns. Making a scene is not a good idea, just isn't worth it.

Andrei Vandenko: Leaving small business aside, although it is obviously going through hard times, too. Now, there is this ”regulatory guillotine“…

Vladimir Putin: Yes. Starting from January 1, 2021.

Andrei Vandenko: How much time is left? Still a whole year. How many will survive till then and how many won’t?

Vladimir Putin: You see, Andrei, hitting the target is what it’s all about. It is a very tricky thing. What is a ”regulatory guillotine“? Take the very same retail trade, for instance. Especially the food retail sector or some other sectors that concern people’s lives. You could cancel everything to the point where hospitals would be working round the clock to accommodate patients with food poisonings. We should be very cautious about it.

The same applies to medicines and so on and so forth. Take fire safety. I know that the fire services are criticized a lot, but there are safety matters involved. Whenever a major tragedy occurs, we instantly begin to tighten the screws everywhere. In the meantime, it’s not about tightening or loosening rules – what we need is optimal fire safety requirements. The same goes for everything else. Therefore, cancelling everything at once is very dangerous. But leaving everything unchanged is no longer possible, either. That is why, during these 18 months and during this year, the Government will be working hard on this issue.

Andrei Vandenko: What about big business, investment? Foreign investment? Who will agree to take risks at a time when memories are still fresh – it all began with Khodorkovsky, then there was Magnitsky, and now we have Calvey.

Vladimir Putin: Khodorkovsky is a fraudster, and their company was involved not just in fraudulent transactions, but in murders. This is the real problem. They were convicted in accordance with Russian law. Khodorkovsky’s personal involvement in contract murders was not proven, but the killings did take place. They were proven. Including killings by their security service. Do you think that staffers of the corporate security service were killing people at their own initiative, of their own volition? I don’t think so. I don’t think it works that way. However, if it’s not proven, then it’s not proven. But his other illegal activities were proven, hence his prison sentence.

As for Calvey, the law enforcement agencies and the court are looking into this matter. Law enforcement agencies in the first place.

Andrei Vandenko: Well, that is a classic response.

Vladimir Putin: There can be no other response, because I cannot say if he is guilty or not until there is a well-founded…

Andrei Vandenko: Well, the West is watching, why get involved…

Vladimir Putin: Good for them. We should focus on what we are doing ourselves, paying no attention to the West or the East. We are paddling our own canoe. And we need to proceed from our country’s legislation and the supremacy of Russian law.

Andrei Vandenko: How much money has flowed out of the country over this period of time?

Vladimir Putin: Not very much.

Andrei Vandenko: Not very much?

Vladimir Putin: If we bear in mind how much money has flowed into the country. It can be calculated. The outflow of capital does exist, it is quite evident, but the picture varies from year to year. Generally speaking, it is a natural process – capital inflow and outflow. The more stable our rules of the game are, the more reliable the protection of investment and property is, the more comfortable people who invest will feel.

Part 13 On Current Corporation Heads and 90s Oligarchs (Interview to TASS)

March 13, 2020 On current corporation heads and 90s oligarchs  (interview to TASS)

The twelfth part of Vladimir Putin's interview to TASS News Agency.


Andrei Vandenko: State capitalism.

Vladimir Putin: Yes.

Andrei Vandenko: What is it that makes today's business titans better than the oligarchs of the 1990s? The mere fact that you know them and trust them?

Vladimir Putin: I have known both. The difference is…

Andrei Vandenko: You were not President then.

Vladimir Putin: I was Prime Minister then, and I became President in 2000.

Andrei Vandenko: Yes.

Vladimir Putin: I knew them all.

Andrei Vandenko: And…

Vladimir Putin: And I worked with all of them.

Andrei Vandenko: And…

Vladimir Putin: The point is not to crack down on some…

Andrei Vandenko: But that is what happened…

Vladimir Putin: …or twist their arms or any other body parts. Absolutely not.

Do you know what really matters? It is keeping them away from running the country, from influencing political decisions. It is clear that both then and now everybody was, and is, looking to make moves and lobby their own interests.

The difference between the 1990s or 2000s and today, is that they used to directly influence the decisions made by the state on internal, economic, and even foreign policy matters as well as security issues. A modern CEO does not enjoy this privilege.

Andrei Vandenko: But do they try to?

Vladimir Putin: Not any more, actually. They have realized that it is impossible and do not even bother trying.

Andrei Vandenko: Did you make that clear?

Vladimir Putin: They are struggling to protect their interests. For instance, we are currently discussing oil and gas prices with our Eurasian Economic Union partners. Of course, they stand their ground. That is understandable. But they are not trying to exert pressure from the inside. They simply clarify their position, providing arguments to prove they are right. But this refers to a very limited segment of their practical interests. This is natural.

Andrei Vandenko: And what about all this active state intervention in the economic sphere over the recent years? Look at all these state corporations established in those years of affluence. In the second half of the 2000s, when there was windfall cash that could be put to use.

Vladimir Putin: This is not true. There are different assessments regarding the state's involvement in the economy. They vary. Some believe that the state's intervention in the economy is excessive; others believe it is normal. Different methodologies lead to discrepant results.

Andrei Vandenko: So how do you see it?

Vladimir Putin: I believe that overall, we have managed to find the balance. If I am not mistaken, only 7 or 8 out of our 20 biggest companies are partially state-owned. Is it 7 or 8 out of 20 biggest companies, I may be off by a notch, which is no big deal, I think.

The question is not whether they are private or public. The question is how they operate. If they are effective, profitable, and generate public revenue, then the question is whether privatization is the overall goal at all.

Take Canada, for instance. I remember talking to my Canadian counterpart; they had privatized their railway system. In the end, the Americans bought it. The Canadians have come to regret it.

Here we need to be very careful and take calculated decisions. Besides, public-private companies are some of the major contributors to public budgets at all levels. Rosneft is number one, followed by Gazprom and Lukoil. Then come Tatneft and Sberbank.

Andrei Vandenko: Lukoil is a private company.

Vladimir Putin: Yes. That is what I am telling you: the largest companies are the biggest taxpayers.

Andrei Vandenko: It is common belief, an axiom of sorts, that the government is not an effective owner.

Vladimir Putin: This axiom is nothing: you have to look into the way a particular business operates. Applying a generalized approach here is as useless as calculating the average body temperature of patients in a hospital. As you know, this argument is often used when people start asking, quite reasonably, why is it that my neighbor and I are not doing well at all, while life in our country on the whole is fine. It is the same here, two sides of a coin. Therefore, while a generalized approach might be correct, as a methodology, we should consider each particular case separately.

Andrei Vandenko: In other words, you believe that reprivatization is not a bad thing.

Vladimir Putin: Right. I do not think it is a bad thing. Well, you know, there are many different…

Andrei Vandenko: Your adviser Yumashev thinks differently.

Vladimir Putin: Well, that is what advisers are for: their job is to offer opinions. There are different approaches and different visions. A decision-maker must consider every opinion. That is what I am trying to do.

Here is another problem: the Central Bank is being heavily criticized for having taken too many financial institutions under its control, for having spent too much money, for having paid large dividends to its shareholders, and so on and so forth. It was actually not to the shareholders that most of the payments went. The shareholders were hardly paid anything. The bank was paying citizens to minimize their losses from this or that institution’s failure.

In the long run… I know some people will look, get angry, and say, ”I sustained damage.“ But the Central Bank's task was to prevent millions of people from sustaining this damage, to prevent weak financial institutions from borrowing too much money from people, from the population, the way real estate developers dealt with defrauded homebuyers. And then just vanish, to reappear somewhere in London, as usual.

That is why we had to resort to resolution procedures at some point. Whether it was done well or badly is another question. The Central Bank took over the assets of these financial institutions, but not for good, and it is not going to keep them forever. They will be reorganized and reintroduced into the market. The Central Bank has a relevant plan, Ms Nabiullina briefs me.

Andrei Vandenko: Speaking of profits. How do you match a public corporation’s status and its top management’s free market salaries?

Vladimir Putin: They do not match well.

Andrei Vandenko: When they are paid…

Vladimir Putin: They do not. I agree with you.

Andrei Vandenko: …one million a day!

Vladimir Putin: Listen, I find this outrageous myself, honestly.

Andrei Vandenko: Now, Mr Putin…

Vladimir Putin: I will reply.Many things are not as simple as they might seem at first.

I have already had a word with them on that score. What is their answer? They hire many foreign specialists, who work effectively and are worth something on the market, on the international labor market that is. They have to hire them and pay them a wage equivalent to the cost of their services on the international labor market. But if they are to be paid this amount, their bosses are entitled to be paid more.

Do you know where else this has happened? Civil aviation pilots. Precisely the same thing. We were forced to hire foreign pilots, in particular, those with experience flying Boeings and European planes. We had to raise their pay to meet European and US standards. Now the military pilots eagerly take co-pilots’ jobs, because in the Air Force they are paid less than in civil aviation. This distorted the labor market, affecting the Defense Ministry. And we are seeing the same here.

Andrei Vandenko: Now, Mr Putin, how much are airplane pilots paid? Half a million a month?

Vladimir Putin: The second pilot gets something around 300,000–350,000 rubles, I believe.

Andrei Vandenko: While a top manager gets a million a day. Mind you, a day! Now, this seems a little bit too much.

Vladimir Putin: I do not know about the daily rate, but it does look a bit too much. I agree.

Andrei Vandenko: As far as foreign specialists are concerned, that is something… Well, it does not sound like…the truth, I hate to say.

Vladimir Putin: No-no-no, why?

Andrei Vandenko: I mean, it is important, but…

Vladimir Putin: No, no. Otherwise, they would be paid less than their subordinates are.

Andrei Vandenko: Maybe they should be paid less, then.

Vladimir Putin: Does that happen anywhere? Should we be an exception? It does not work like that anywhere in the world.

Andrei Vandenko: Really? Fine then.

Vladimir Putin: But, honestly speaking, I find this annoying and preposterous. I agree.

Andrei Vandenko: They have to be more modest.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, that is true.

Andrei Vandenko: Fine then.

Vladimir Putin: I fully agree with you.

Andrei Vandenko: Perfect.

Part 14 Sanctions as an Economic Booster (Interview to TASS)

March 16, 2020 On current corporation heads and 90s oligarchs  (interview to TASS)

The fourteenth part of Vladimir Putin's interview to TASS News Agency.


With English subtitles


Andrei Vandenko: We’ve been hit with sanctions because of Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin: To hell with those sanctions. According to various estimates, we have lost around 50 billion but we have earned the same amount.

Andrei Vandenko: That’s quite a bit.

Vladimir Putin: Quite a bit, but it made us use our brains. We spent quite a lot of money on the so-called ‘import substitution’ programme and started to produce such items and technologies that we did not have before or simply forgot about them and lost them. We recreated all of this. And we are undoubtedly benefiting from it. It diversifies our economy. In fact, it helps us address our overriding priority.

Andrei Vandenko: But counter-sanctions give the impression that we were deliberately hurting ourselves.

Vladimir Putin: Nonsense. Counter-sanctions helped us boost the agroindustry. They freed up our domestic market.

In our country, if we look at the past years from 2000s and onwards, everyone here spoke about the agroindustry as if it was a black hole, surely you do remember. Where is it now? I don't even remember how far ahead agricultural production has leaped. I think 2.6-fold.

We have always been a grain importer but now we are the world’s top wheat exporter. We have even outperformed the United States, Canada and Australia. They produce more but also consume more. We supply more to the market.

We started to produce enough to meet our basic food needs: dairy, poultry, pork, all staples. We need to work more on vegetables and beef. And we are doing it. Nobody could have imagined that our export was going to total $25 billion last year. This year it will be $24 [billion], I think. Our arms sales are only $15 billion. Nobody would have ever thought that we would become such a major exporter. And we will increase this volume.

In this sense – and from the point of view of developing high-tech productions and in terms of agriculture development, import substitution – is it god or bad? On the one hand, it’s good, it has served us well.

Another thing is bad – it’s bad that this distorts the entire global and European economic space. This is what’s bad. Competition should be natural without any external restrictions.

But the fact is our partners also lose approximately the same. Europe has lost roughly the same, according to their own estimates. They’ve been losing even more sensitive things.

Andrei Vandenko: But there are 40 countries in Europe, and we are one country.

Vladimir Putin: You see, they are losing jobs. Right now, we have the lowest level of unemployment in history. In this sense we lost nothing. And they are losing jobs because imports have nosedived as a result of a wide range of circumstances, including sanctions.

Part 15 Opposition, Systemic and Non-Systemic (Interview to TASS)

March 17, 2020 Opposition, systemic and non-systemic (interview to TASS)

The fifteenth part of Vladimir Putin's interview to TASS News Agency.

Andrei Vandenko: You actually gave the opposition a compliment by saying that we need the opposition, including the non-systemic one.

Vladimir Putin: It is not a compliment – this is what I think. I mean it sincerely.

Andrei Vandenko: By and large, objectively speaking, our opposition, well, what we call the opposition, is tame. It is hand-fed.

Vladimir Putin: No, that is not true. When…

Andrei Vandenko: Systemic. What we call systemic opposition.

Vladimir Putin: Listen, we have four parliamentary parties. Quite often they have their own view of things. True, United Russia holds the majority in the State Duma. Some may say: you know, it's … a little bit boring.

Andrei Vandenko: Window dressing.

Vladimir Putin: No. A little bit boring.

Andrei Vandenko: A decoration.

Vladimir Putin: No. A little bit boring.

Andrei Vandenko: Boring.

Vladimir Putin: Yes.

Andrei Vandenko: Pretty true.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, yes.

Andrei Vandenko: Honestly?

Vladimir Putin: Yes.

Andrei Vandenko: A little bit boring.

Vladimir Putin: I understand. Do you wish to jump for joy when they may be fighting there like they do in Ukraine or some other place?

Andrei Vandenko: ”Not the place for discussions,“ we remember.

Vladimir Putin: No. It is the place for discussions. But it is not a place for brawls or internal skirmishes. Or for showing off.

Andrei Vandenko: Well, you sound somewhat too radical – either a brawl or a swamp. What about taking some balanced position?

Vladimir Putin: This is what I am telling you. Listen to what Gennady Zyuganov said in his speech.

Andrei Vandenko: Oh!

Vladimir Putin: What makes you say oh? He has his own stance, and not only he, but other members of the Communist Party, too.

Andrei Vandenko: He and Zhirinovsky were philosophizing back when you were working in Dresden.

Vladimir Putin: It does not matter. It's not important.

Andrei Vandenko: In other words, a professional member of the opposition who lives at a state dacha [residence] belonging to the Administrative Directorate of the President, and drives a BMW with flashing blue lights is fine with you?

Vladimir Putin: Listen to me.

Andrei Vandenko: Is that so?

Vladimir Putin: If you wish to remain on the offensive yourself, you will not hear my answer.

Andrei Vandenko: I'm listening.

Vladimir Putin: And this non-systemic opposition – what is it? It’s legitimate parties. We have 50 parties altogether. We have liberalised the process of registering a political party. We have 50 of them.

Whether a member of an opposition party uses a car or not is a different question. What really matters is what attitude he takes towards the authorities and the decisions proposed by the Government or the ruling party on this or that issue.

You probably wanted to trip me up… You won't succeed. What I want to tell you is this… There is the United Russia party holding the majority.

Andrei Vandenko: Right.

Vladimir Putin: Right? There are other parties who quite often disagree – there are four of them in the parliament. They disagree with the ruling party's point of view. But you surely remember what there was in the 1990s, you are old enough after all. It was a mess of a parliament. Brawls were frequent and there was no chance to make a single decision. Still worse – do you know what was still worse?

Andrei Vandenko: What?

Vladimir Putin: It was still worse that the decisions they made were impossible to implement. The economy was boxed into a corner. That's what it led to when there was no constructive discussion.

Now, my question is: Do you want to see them make a mess or make decisions of national importance?

In this connection, I cannot but recall one well-known Russian statesman: ”You want great upheavals, but I want great Russia.“ I believe, we all want great Russia, not stage shows at different levels of political power.

Andrei Vandenko: Absolutely. The opposition is also necessary to ‘put a hedgehog inside the authorities’ skull’, to make them move and work harder.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, yes, right. That's why I said that we need both systemic and non-systemic opposition. I'm saying so not as Russia's current President, but as an ordinary Russian citizen. We don’t need any mess. And we don’t need any shows. We need serious political activity.

Andrei Vandenko: You know, if the opposition is non-systemic it immediately, almost automatically becomes an enemy of the state.

Vladimir Putin: Nothing of the sort. Nothing of the sort. What makes you think so? Or do you wish to think so yourself? This has nothing to do with the reality. Why? We have 50 parties. Fifty. People must simply… You know what? You see, it is necessary…

Andrei Vandenko: People should have an opportunity to express their opinion out loud without any party… They should have this opportunity!

Vladimir Putin: The political consciousness of Russia's ordinary citizens has grown a lot over the past year. Yes. We may watch with pleasure someone's shocking escapades. Yes, we may like to see critics exposing somebody.

But! Even an ordinary citizen wants to see not only somebody criticize the authorities, but to hear and understand what is proposed by those who criticize; what solutions do they propose to the problems the country is faced with? When nothing but criticism is heard in reply, then the question arises: who is worth being voted for? Who is to be elected to the local or regional legislatures or the federal parliament?

You know, an ordinary citizen goes to work and back home every day. And still, a plain sausage will not be enough today for earning people's support.

Andrei Vandenko: I just consider you as a strong person.

Vladimir Putin: Hope so.

Andrei Vandenko: With a past in the martial arts.

Vladimir Putin: I still practise today.

Andrei Vandenko: You still practise, even more so. Not worth it to underplay – the opponent must be a worthy one. An opponent from among those who drive a BMW and reside at a state dacha, who is unlikely to argue with you in earnest.

Vladimir Putin: Listen to me. Do you think that in any other democratic country, including the United States, Congress or Senate members ride a goat to go to work…

Andrei Vandenko: It’s not just about the deputies…

Vladimir Putin: Or a lame mare? They use state cars there, too.

Andrei Vandenko: It’s not about the cars, really.

Vladimir Putin: No, this is exactly the matter. You have in fact hinted that they are sort of being bribed.

They use what the state gives them for performing their duties. They get it not from the current authorities. They get it from the state under the existing law. Be it a member of the opposition or not… Once the person takes a certain office, he gets everything the state has to provide him with in accordance with the law. For carrying out his duties, including those that person campaigns for and represented and that have propelled him to a certain body of power, to parliament, for example.

It's not the President who gives him a car. This is important. The President and his Administrative Directorate are obliged by law to provide this, regardless of whether he likes this or that deputy or party leader or not.

Andrei Vandenko: It's not about members or their cars…

Vladimir Putin: That's the whole point. This means that the government is obliged to provide everybody with equal opportunities for performing their political functions.

Andrei Vandenko: My focus is rather on the political struggle, not specifically on some cars or dachas…

Vladimir Putin: That's part and parcel of the political struggle. The state has to create conditions for an adherent to any views to have an opportunity to work effectively. And not to permit a situation when the parliament speaker might say: ”Are you from the ruling party? Great. Here's your BMW to move around. And everybody else will drive a Zaporozhets [an economical supermini a working man could afford].“ No. Everybody must enjoy equal conditions.

Part 16 On Middle Class and People’s Incomes (Interview to TASS)

March 18, 2020 On middle class and people’s incomes  (interview to TASS)

The fourteenth part of Vladimir Putin's interview to TASS News Agency.

Andrei Vandenko: The middle class. Where have we lost it? We were told it would account for more than a half of the population.

Vladimir Putin: Listen, do you know what the middle class is? If you think that the term “middle class” is about the way people live in France, Germany or the United States, this is not so.

The middle class is different in different countries. There is a relevant methodology of the World Bank. The middle class is estimated using the number of households, of people whose incomes are 50 per cent above the minimum wage. This year’s minimum wage is, if I remember correctly, 11,280 rubles, while the average wage is far higher. There are a lot of such people, well above 70 per cent.

Andrei Vandenko: Then our middle class should rather be called ‘middling’.

Vladimir Putin: You know, we have to proceed from the realities.

Andrei Vandenko: Within one's means.

Vladimir Putin: Not within one's means but using the methodology of the World Bank. ”Within one's means“ is a very unclear formula. The World Bank's methodology, however, suggests that each country has its own middle class. So do we. Our task is just to make this middle class stronger.

Andrei Vandenko: I wish it were like in France or Germany…

Vladimir Putin: Boost incomes…

Andrei Vandenko: Vladimir Vladimirovich…

Vladimir Putin: I would not like it to be like in France.

Andrei Vandenko: Don't you?

Vladimir Putin: Just look at what is happening there. Is there anything good about it? Protests there continue nonstop, right? Whole branches of the economy are stalled. The unrest left 11 people dead, many were injured, lost their eyes to rubber bullets. What is so good about this? Is this what you wish? I do not think so.

Andrei Vandenko: The people in France went to the streets.

Vladimir Putin: Yes.

Andrei Vandenko: Macron made a move, then backtracked.

Vladimir Putin: Is this a good thing?

Andrei Vandenko: I do not know. For the French people it probably is.

Vladimir Putin: I do not think so. Firstly, fundamentally nothing has changed. In the context of the reform, the most critical issue, as I see it, was the one related to early retirement and basically equal treatment for all.

From the economic standpoint, this is actually reasonable. Pragmatically, President Macron, on the whole, is doing the right thing. We, pragmatically speaking, have done the wrong thing because we have left in place practically everything – retained almost all the privileges, all privileged categories. We still have early retirement, while in France this is the principal reason for discontent – that early retirement plans are being canceled.

Andrei Vandenko: Early retirement has remained for the military and for the law enforcement agencies.

Vladimir Putin: Where?

Andrei Vandenko: Here, in Russia.

Vladimir Putin: Not only for them. It has been preserved for coalminers, for instance, and for other categories. It has remained for teachers. We have many groups entitled to preferences. Moreover, for mothers of large families the retirement age is 50.

We need to fulfil a very important task – to raise people's real incomes. We should think about the best use of the available resources, which are big enough. Our National Welfare Fund has exceeded 7 per cent of the GDP – to be more precise, it is 7.3 per cent.

Next summer, in July, as far as I remember, funds are expected to be credited to our accounts and we are getting to the point when we will begin to spend the NWF more actively – we agreed upon it before, we made a decision to do it when this reserve fund, and we have only one reserve fund left, the NWF, exceeded 7 per cent. The question is on what we should spend the money: on investment, on support for certain groups of the population, etc. This is what our discussion is revolving around today.

Part 17 On Public Sentiment and Post-2024 plans (Interview to TASS)

March 18, 2020 On public sentiment and post-2024 plans  (interview to TASS)

The seventeenth part of Vladimir Putin's interview to TASS News Agency


Andrei Vandenko: And now about what awaits us in 2024. Are you going to be with us forever?

Vladimir Putin: If you want me to. Do you?

Andrei Vandenko: Me personally?

Vladimir Putin: The question is, in what capacity?

Andrei Vandenko: Well, this is what I am talking about. And in what capacity do you see yourself?

Vladimir Putin: I do not know, we will see.

Andrei Vandenko: Well, let us think about it.

Vladimir Putin: I still have a lot of time.

Andrei Vandenko: I cannot get a clear perspective from here. I think you can see more clearly from up there, from your high position. What do you see? What horizons open up?

Vladimir Putin: No, not at all. Do you know where you can see it? You can see it in public sentiment, in the desires of the people.

Andrei Vandenko: But the so-called elites are nervous, Mr Putin, due to this transfer. Some certainty is needed.

Vladimir Putin: I see. I understand it. The elites, yes, they might be nervous.

Andrei Vandenko: Do you like it?

Vladimir Putin: No, I do not. It is a drawback. Such an imbalance is a real drawback. I realize this. However, the people are the primary source of power. And I am not trying to show off. It is very important for me too. It is very important for me to feel, to understand what people want. It is a matter of principle.

Andrei Vandenko: So, if the people ask you to stay…

Vladimir Putin: Well, I will need to think about it. Another question is in what capacity.

Andrei Vandenko: Well, and in what capacity?

Vladimir Putin: Right now, I have no answer.

Andrei Vandenko: You are just not ready to talk about it.

Vladimir Putin: No, I am not. I still have four more years, and right now, I have no answer. But the most important thing is, let me repeat once again, and completely in honest, without trying to show off, the main issue, the matter of principle is the attitude of the vast majority of citizens. It is a matter of trust, of course.

Andrei Vandenko: You have already answered this question. Surely you did not think that it would all last this long?

Vladimir Putin: No. It never crossed my mind. I did not think that I would find myself here. It did not, and it could not occur to me.

Andrei Vandenko: And what about dropping out of the race at some stage?

Vladimir Putin: Well, you know, I feel responsible for what is going on and how, and for what will happen in the future. It…

Andrei Vandenko: Did you know in 2008 that you would be back in 2012?

Vladimir Putin: No, I did not. Well, there was such an option, but, of course, I did not know for sure. But as an option – there was such a possibility.

Andrei Vandenko: As Maxim Galkin jokes: Putin is not a name, it is a post.

Vladimir Putin: As a person holding no office, he can joke as he likes. And his jokes are quite in demand.

Andrei Vandenko: How do you react to the fact that they call you a Tsar?

Vladimir Putin: It is not true to fact. Maybe someone else can be called a Tsar. However, in my case, I do not reign, I work every day. A Tsar is one who just sits there, looks from above and says, ”They will do as I order“, while he himself would just try on a hat and look at himself in the mirror. On the contrary, I work every day.

Andrei Vandenko: What about your sources of information?

Vladimir Putin: People like me, irrespective of the country they live in, have more or less the same sources of information, and they are quite numerous. They include sociological studies, security services’ reports and the media, of course. A very important source is direct – this is very important – direct communication with the people.

Andrei Vandenko: Remember, Muller used to say, ”Nobody can be trusted, but me.“ Whom do you trust?

Vladimir Putin: Me?

Andrei Vandenko: Yes.

Vladimir Putin: You know, frankly speaking…

Andrei Vandenko: Frankly would be best.

Vladimir Putin: Most of all I trust the sentiments of average people. When I communicate with people, when there is direct contact, even briefly, I think I feel the mood of the people. And that feeling has not become less keen, over the years, it is still with me, and that is very important for me indeed. I believe that our people are very sincere. Very sincere, sensitive and frank.

Andrei Vandenko: You know, when a person meets a leader…

Vladimir Putin: Yes.

Andrei Vandenko: Especially the President…

Vladimir Putin: Yes.

Andrei Vandenko: Would one blurt out all personal problems to him? You have asked me how am I at the beginning. Well, it depends. And the same goes for the ordinary people, it depends. You see?

Vladimir Putin: Not everybody. Some blurt out their problems, some discuss things. Some talk about their misfortunes. But a problem of a certain person can be very indicative of the problems faced by millions.

Andrei Vandenko: Excuse me, but people mind what they say. Here I am, sitting and talking to you, but trying, for many reasons, to watch my mouth, as I do not want to let down my colleagues or to go to sunny Magadan after this interview.

Vladimir Putin: There is a big difference between you and an average citizen of the Russian Federation.

Andrei Vandenko: What kind of difference?

Vladimir Putin: It relates to you, what Vladimir Lenin once said…

Andrei Vandenko: I am going to learn something interesting about myself…

Vladimir Putin: He said about a group of revolutionaries that they were few and terribly far from the people.

Andrei Vandenko: Oh well…

Vladimir Putin: This is about people like you. No offence meant. An ordinary person does not worry about any obligations that he might have to somebody. Ordinary people say what they think, and they think what they say. And they do not bother with how their superiors might react. They just speak their mind. And what they say might be of critical importance as they speak from their heart, speak about what they like and what they do not. I highly value that, it is truly very important to me.

Interview to Chinese newspaper People’s Daily

Ahead of his working visit to China, Vladimir Putin gave an interview to the Chinese newspaper People’s Daily (Renmin Ribao).

APRIL 25, 2019

Question: In 2017 you attended the Belt and Road international forum. Could you share with us your impressions? What successes were achieved in the past two years in your opinion? And what are the areas we still have to work on? What topics are you interested in at the second forum?

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: In historical terms, the two years that have passed since the first Belt and Road international forum in Beijing are a short span of time. However, it is already clear that President Xi Jinping’s initiative is really opening up extensive opportunities for equitable partnership. Our Chinese friends take a creative approach to promoting international economic cooperation, and seek to contribute to consolidating interconnected relationships and ensuring sustainable development in the whole of Eurasia. Such a desire can only be welcomed.

Naturally, it is important for China to successfully promote this large-scale project. And all Eurasian states should stand to gain from participation in it. It should help them build up their economic potential, make them more competitive and increase their living standards. To achieve this it is necessary to take into account the interests of all partners and to promote the harmonisation of national programmes and development plans. It is necessary not only to trade but also to promote mutual investment and carry out joint infrastructure, transport, logistics and environmental projects; to encourage industrial and technological cooperation, scientific and academic exchanges, and step up people-to-people contacts.

Russia also has its own vision for the future of regional integration. Together with other member states of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) we are consistently searching for the optimal model of cooperation. I am referring to the plans to form the Greater Eurasian Partnership or, in other words, a broad network of regional integration associations developing in a coordinated way, based on the principles of equality, openness, mutual respect and consideration of each other’s interests. It is hard to overstate China’s role in this as Russia’s strategic partner. After all, the formation of Greater Eurasia essentially amounts to coupling the EAEU and the Belt and Road concept.

Question: You suggested coupling the EAEU with the Belt and Road initiative. Are you satisfied with the progress toward linking these two projects? What are your expectations in this regard?

Vladimir Putin: Indeed, in May 2015, President Xi Jinping and I agreed to link the construction of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Silk Road Economic Belt. This truly historic initiative was supported by the leaders of all the EAEU member states.

On May 17, 2018, the Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation between the EAEU and China was signed as a follow-up to this initiative. We expect this document to enter into force within the next few months, and the parties will immediately begin to implement it.

Practical cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Commission and the Government of the People's Republic of China will need to be put on solid footing and made systematic. Our top priority will be to set up a Joint Commission tasked with reviewing specific initiatives to couple the EAEU with China’s Belt and Road initiative. We believe that projects in transport, energy, environment, trade, finance and the digital economy will enjoy priority.

I am confident that following the upcoming 2nd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, in which I plan to take part, the integration processes promoted by our countries in the Eurasian space will receive another powerful boost.

Question: You have met with President Xi Jinping many times and, as leaders, have mapped out important plans to develop Russian-Chinese relations. What is the role of meetings between the leaders in promoting bilateral relations?

Vladimir Putin: You correctly noted that I regularly meet with President Xi Jinping. I value the relations of friendship and mutual respect that have developed between us, which make it possible to build on bilateral cooperation in all areas from politics and trade to military-technical and humanitarian areas.

Of course, that kind of trust-based dialogue helps more effectively coordinate the positions of Russia and China on key issues of the international and regional agenda and jointly develop responses to the most pressing challenges of our time.

As I noted earlier, our next meeting will take place in Beijing quite soon. We will talk not only during the Belt and Road Forum, which I already mentioned, but will also hold talks as part of the bilateral meeting of the leaders of Russia and China. And we look forward to President Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia this year.

Question: This year we mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Russia. What do you think about the level of our relations and the potential for their further development?

Vladimir Putin: It would be no exaggeration to say that our countries have approached this anniversary with relations the best they have been in their entire history. This is the result of meticulous and successful work over the past thirty years. Russia and China have fully normalised bilateral ties and raised them to the level of strategic partnership. They have resolved all sensitive issues, including the border one.

The further deepening of cooperation between the two states promises to be sustainable and long-term, because it is not opportunistic. This is entirely in the interests of our peoples and the tasks of maintaining international and regional security and stability.

The political dialogue between Russia and China is based on mutual trust and respect, and the fact that we always take each other’s approaches and positions into consideration. We have developed contacts at all levels – from the very top to the expert level. Our parliaments, public organisations and, of course, business communities are actively engaged in our common efforts.

Our military and military-technical cooperation points to the high level of trust. Russia and China hold regular joint exercises and share our accumulated experience in military development. Our cooperation on security and combatting terrorism and organised crime is making rapid headway.

We have managed to substantially increase our mutual trade. In 2018 it exceeded a record $100 billion. We are making consistent progress in investment, financial, energy and high-tech cooperation.

Importantly, ties between the regions of Russia and China are expanding. The current cross years of interregional cooperation will give an additional boost to these efforts.

We are paying significant attention to expanding people-to-people exchanges. Many projects have been carried out under the cross years. And, of course, “people’s diplomacy,” direct contacts between our citizens, young people, play a big role in strengthening the foundation of bilateral relations.

I am convinced that the potential of the Russia-China partnership is truly inexhaustible. Naturally, the forthcoming celebration of the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations will further reveal this potential and deepen our friendly, mutually beneficial dialogue in all areas.

Question: China and Russia are two major modern powers. In what way, do you think, can Beijing and Moscow do more to exert a positive influence in order to overcome acute international challenges and maintain an equitable and fair world order?

Vladimir Putin: Russia-China foreign policy interaction is an important stabilising factor in international affairs, all the more so as our countries have overlapping or very close positions on the key issues of our time.

Unfortunately, some Western countries are claiming sole global leadership. They carelessly trample on the norms and principles of international law, resort to blackmail, sanctions and pressure, and try to force their values ​​and dubious ideals on entire countries and populations.

We are categorically opposed to such approaches. In order to improve the international situation and to form a more equitable and democratic global architecture, we will continue to closely coordinate Russia and China’s steps on important global and regional issues, and productively cooperate at leading multilateral venues such as the UN, G20, SCO, BRICS and APEC. At the same time, we remain open to cooperation and joint work with like-minded people, including everyone who is interested in promoting state-to-state communication on the unshakable foundation of the UN Charter and international law.

Question: The greatest number of tourists come to Russia from China. In addition to Moscow and St Petersburg, what other interesting destinations would you recommend that Chinese tourists see?

Vladimir Putin: Indeed, Chinese tourists are clearly in the lead among foreign tourists coming to Russia. Over the past five years, their number has almost doubled, increasing by 93 percent. Last year alone, about 1,700,000 Chinese tourists visited our country. It is our sincere pleasure to have them as guests.

Moscow and St Petersburg remain Chinese tourists’ favourite destinations. However, they want to see other Russian regions as well, including the famous Golden Ring in central Russia, the Urals and Siberia, the Russian Far East and the Caucasus. For example, more and more guests from China are going to Sochi, which, following the successful 2014 Winter Olympics, now boasts high-quality resort and sports infrastructure.

Russia is home to 29 sites included on UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list. This number puts Russia in the top 10 countries in the world. These sites include the cultural and historical ensembles of Novgorod, Sergiyev Posad, Kazan, Yaroslavl, Derbent, the white stone temples of Vladimir and Suzdal, Sviyazhsk, Kizhi Pogost, the Solovki historical and cultural complex and other works by our architects.

Nature has generously endowed Russia with gems such as the world’s deepest and cleanest lake, Baikal, the volcanoes and geysers of Kamchatka, the Golden Mountains of Altai, the forests of the Komi Republic, the Curonian Spit, Central Sikhote-Alin, the nature of Wrangel Island, the Lena River Pillars and the Putorana Plateau.

Visiting memorable sites connected with the history of the revolutionary movement and the lives of Soviet party and state leaders is another area of interest for Chinese tourists.

A region unlike any other, Crimea deserves special mention. In recent years, the tourism industry has been rapidly expanding on the peninsula. Extensive infrastructure is being created and new modern hotels and resorts are being built. All this, combined with the unfailing cordiality and hospitality of the locals, creates excellent opportunities for exciting and rewarding trips.

I will say it again for emphasis: we have plenty of places to see and enjoy, and I want to say once again to all our guests from the friendly nation of China – welcome to Russia!

Послание Президента Федеральному Собранию

Послание Путина Федеральному собранию. Главное

Путин рассказал о разработке ракеты "Циркон" и серийном производстве "Авангарда"

На церемонии присутствуют члены Совета Федерации, депутаты Государственной Думы, члены Правительства, руководители Конституционного и Верховного судов, губернаторский корпус.

* * *

В.Путин: Уважаемые члены Совета Федерации! Уважаемые депутаты Государственной Думы! Граждане России!

Сегодняшнее Послание сосредоточено прежде всего на вопросах нашего внутреннего социального и экономического развития. И особое внимание хотел бы уделить задачам, которые поставлены в майском указе, развёрнуты в национальных проектах. Их содержание и ориентиры отражают запросы и ожидания граждан страны. Национальные проекты построены вокруг человека, ради достижения нового качества жизни для всех поколений, которое может быть обеспечено только при динамичном развитии России.

Наши задачи носят долгосрочный характер. Но работать на стратегические цели необходимо уже сегодня. Время спрессовано, я говорил об этом многократно, вы это всё прекрасно знаете. Его запаса, запаса времени, на раскачку, на дальнейшие утряски и увязки, просто нет. Вообще, мы этот период, считаю, прошли – формирования задач и инструментов достижения целей. И абсолютно недопустимо отступать от намеченных рубежей. Да, они сложны, эти задачи. Но снижать планку конкретных ориентиров, размывать их – нельзя. Они сложные, как я уже сказал, эти задачи, требуют больших усилий с нашей стороны. Но они отвечают масштабу и скорости перемен в мире. Мы обязаны двигаться только вперёд, постоянно набирая темп этого движения.

Если же кто-то предпочитает работать по накатанной, не напрягаясь, избегать инициативы и ответственности, то лучше сразу уйти. Я уже слышу, что «там нельзя», «здесь слишком сложно», «там слишком высокая планка», «не получится». С такими настроениями лучше к снаряду не подходить.

Людей, кроме того, не обманешь. Они остро чувствуют лицемерие, неуважение к себе и любую несправедливость. Их мало интересует бюрократическая волокита, бумажная текучка. Для людей важно, что реально сделано и как это улучшает их жизнь, жизнь их семей. И не когда-нибудь, а сейчас. Мы не должны повторять ошибок прошлых десятилетий и ждать пришествия коммунизма. Нужно сейчас менять ситуацию к лучшему.

И потому работа исполнительной власти на всех уровнях должна быть слаженной, содержательной, энергичной. Задавать такой тон обязано Правительство России.

При этом хочу подчеркнуть и повторить: наши проекты развития – не федеральные и тем более не ведомственные. Они именно национальные. Их результаты должны быть видны в каждом субъекте Федерации, в каждом муниципалитете. Здесь, «на земле», реализуется основной массив конкретных задач.

Подчеркну: благодаря многолетнему общему труду и достигнутым результатам сейчас мы можем направить и сконцентрировать на целях развития колоссальные, во всяком случае для нашей страны колоссальные, финансовые ресурсы. Нам их никто не подарил. Мы не взяли их взаймы. Эти средства заработаны миллионами наших граждан – всей страной. Ими нужно распорядиться так, чтобы приумножить богатство России и благополучие российских семей.

Уже в ближайшее время, в этом году люди должны почувствовать реальные изменения к лучшему. Именно на основе мнения, оценок граждан в начале следующего года подведём первые итоги работы по национальным проектам. И сделаем соответствующие выводы о качестве и результатах работы всех уровней исполнительной власти.

Уважаемые коллеги!

Теперь – о наших задачах более конкретно. И прежде всего – о ключевой из них: о сбережении народа, а значит, о всемерной поддержке семей.

Для нашего общества, для многонационального народа именно семья, рождение детей, продолжение рода, уважение к старшим поколениям были и остаются мощным нравственным каркасом. Мы делали и будем делать всё для укрепления семейных ценностей. Это вопрос нашего будущего. Общая задача для государства, для гражданского общества, для религиозных организаций, политических партий и средств массовой информации.

Россия вошла сейчас в очень сложный демографический период. Рождаемость, как вы знаете, снижается. Уже говорил, что причины здесь чисто объективные. Они связаны с теми огромными людскими потерями, провалами, которые понесла наша страна в XX веке, во время Великой Отечественной войны и в драматичные годы после распада СССР. Но это не значит, что мы должны принять такую ситуацию, смириться с фактом. Конечно, нет.

Мы смогли переломить негативные демографические тенденции в начале 2000-х годов, а тогда страна была в очень сложном положении, тогда казалось, что это вообще сделать невозможно. Но мы это сделали, и убеждён, что вновь способны это сделать: на рубеже 2023–2024 годов добиться возобновления естественного прироста населения.

Сегодня хочу сказать о новом пакете уже подготовленных мер по поддержке семей.

Первое. Важно, чтобы рождение и воспитание детей не означало для семьи риска бедности, резкого снижения уровня благосостояния. Вы знаете, что у нас уже предусмотрены выплаты на первых и вторых детей в возрасте до полутора лет. На первого ребёнка выплаты идут из федерального бюджета. На второго ребёнка семья может получить выплаты из средств материнского капитала. Сумма выплаты зависит от прожиточного минимума ребёнка в конкретном регионе Федерации. От восьми тысяч рублей, скажем, в Белгородской области до 22 тысяч рублей в Чукотском автономном округе, а в среднем по стране это более 11 тысяч рублей на ребёнка в месяц. Сейчас такие выплаты получают семьи, чьи доходы не превышают полутора прожиточных минимумов на человека. Пора сделать следующий шаг.

Предлагаю с 1 января 2020 года поднять планку до двух прожиточных минимумов на члена семьи. Такие запросы есть у людей, мы видим их, напрямую в Администрацию Президента поступают. Это позволит практически в полтора раза увеличить число семей, которые получают право на дополнительные выплаты. Помощью государства смогут воспользоваться порядка 70 процентов семей, где рождаются первые и вторые дети.

Второе. Сегодня пособие по уходу за детьми с инвалидностью и за инвалидами с детства первой группы всего 5,5 тысячи рублей. Предлагаю уже с 1 июля текущего года повысить его до 10 тысяч рублей. Понимаю, конечно, что и это немного. И тем не менее такая мера станет дополнительной поддержкой для семей, где ребёнок нуждается в особой заботе.

Третье. Доходы российских семей, безусловно, должны расти. Это серьёзная, комплексная задача. Подробно о ней ещё скажу чуть ниже. Но нужны и решения прямого действия. И прежде всего должна быть снижена налоговая нагрузка на семью. Принцип должен быть очень простой: больше детей – меньше налог. Предлагаю увеличить федеральную льготу по налогу на недвижимое имущество для многодетных семей. Дополнительно освободить от налога: по 5 квадратных метров в квартире и по 7 квадратных метров в доме на каждого ребёнка.

Для примера, что это значит: сейчас налогом не облагаются 20 метров площади квартиры. Если в семье трое детей, то из-под налогообложения будет выведено ещё 15 метров. Что касается земельных участков, принадлежащих многодетным семьям, то предлагаю освободить от налога полностью 6 соток и, таким образом, полностью вывести из-под налогообложения наиболее распространённые по площади участки. Напомню, данную льготу мы уже предусмотрели для пенсионеров, а также для граждан предпенсионного возраста. Конечно, во многих субъектах Федерации действуют свои налоговые вычеты по земле и имуществу для многодетных семей. Но именно федеральный статус этой льготы гарантирует её применение повсеместно. Регионы прошу предложить дополнительные налоговые меры поддержки семей с детьми.

Четвёртое. Правительству и Центральному Банку нужно последовательно выдерживать линию на снижение ставок по ипотеке до 9 процентов, а затем – до 8 процентов и ниже, как это и установлено в майском указе. При этом особые меры поддержки мы должны предусмотреть для семей с детьми, разумеется. Напомню: с прошлого года для семей, в которых родился второй или последующий ребёнок, действует программа льготной ипотеки. Ставка для них – 6 процентов. Всё, что выше, субсидируется государством. Однако льготой воспользовались всего 4,5 тысячи семей. Возникает вопрос, почему. Значит, предложенные условия в чём-то людям не подходят. Но и понятно, в чём, понятно, почему. Семья, принимая решение о покупке жилья, строит, конечно, планы на длительную, среднесрочную как минимум перспективу, «вдолгую». А сейчас получается: взяли кредит, начали его погашать, и льгота заканчивается. Потому что ставка субсидируется только первые 3 или 5 лет кредита. Предлагаю установить льготу на весь срок действия ипотечного кредита.

Да, конечно, это потребует дополнительных денег, и немаленьких: в 2019 году – 7,6 миллиарда рублей, в 2020-м – 21,7 миллиарда рублей, 2021 году –30,6 миллиарда рублей. Но, по оценкам, программа может охватить 600 тысяч семей. Безусловно, надо эти деньги найти. Мы знаем, где их взять. Они у нас есть, и нужно их использовать на таких важнейших для нас направлениях.

И ещё одно решение прямого действия. С учётом устойчивости и стабильности макроэкономической ситуации в стране, роста доходов государства считаю возможным ввести дополнительную меру поддержки семей, где рождается третий и последующий ребёнок. А именно, напрямую из федерального бюджета оплатить, «погасить» за такую семью 450 тысяч рублей из её ипотечного кредита. При этом предлагаю запустить эту меру, что называется, задним числом – с 1 января 2019 года, пересчитать и предусмотреть для этого средства в бюджете текущего года.

Посмотрите, что у нас получится. Если сложить с материнским капиталом, который также можно направлять на погашение ипотеки, получается более 900 тысяч рублей. Во многих регионах это существенная часть стоимости квартиры. Обращаю внимание Правительства и депутатов Государственной Думы. Если потребуется, нужно будет внести соответствующие коррективы в бюджет. В 2019 году на это потребуется дополнительно 26,2 миллиарда рублей, в 2020-м –28,6 миллиарда рублей, в 2021-м –30,1 миллиарда рублей. Деньги большие. Надо их предусмотреть и использовать на этом важнейшем, как я уже сказал, направлении.

Необходимо предоставить семье возможность не только покупать готовое жильё, но и строить свой дом, на своей земле. Прошу Правительство совместно с Центральным банком разработать удобные и, главное, доступные финансовые инструменты для поддержки индивидуального жилищного строительства, поскольку эта сфера не охвачена сегодня ипотекой.

И конечно, справедливо должен рассчитываться налог на землю. Понятно, что может меняться кадастровая или рыночная стоимость объекта. Но в любом случае сумма налога не должна скакать, непредсказуемо меняться. Мы уже ограничили десятью процентами годовой рост налогового платежа для жилой недвижимости. Предлагаю установить такой же предел и для земельных участков.

Далее. Сегодня, когда строительные компании передают государству или муниципалитетам социальные объекты, они вынуждены ещё и заплатить с них налог на прибыль и НДС. Нужно освободить застройщиков от этого бремени, имею в виду в том числе и наши новации в строительной сфере, и тем самым стимулировать именно комплексное развитие наших городов и посёлков, когда рядом с жильём есть всё необходимое семье: и поликлиника, и школа, и спортивные площадки. Чтобы родители могли работать, учиться, быть счастливыми, получать удовольствие от отцовства и материнства.

Мы уже обеспечили практически повсеместную доступность детских садов, но до конца 2021 года нужно полностью решить проблему с яслями, создать в них не менее 270 тысяч новых мест, включая негосударственный сектор, причём 90 тысяч мест должно быть создано уже в этом году. Всего же за три года на эти цели должно быть направлено 147 миллиардов рублей из федерального и региональных бюджетов. Добавлю, что запись в ясли, в детский сад, оформление льгот, пособий, налоговых вычетов, о которых я уже говорил и которые, надеюсь, ещё мы с вами предложим, – всё это должно происходить без дополнительных заявлений, лишних бумажек и походов по инстанциям. До конца 2020 года предоставление всех ключевых государственных услуг следует перевести именно в проактивный формат, когда человеку достаточно выслать запрос на необходимую услугу, а остальное система должна сделать самостоятельно, автоматически.

Что хотел бы подчеркнуть. Предложенный сегодня пакет мер по поддержке семьи не должен быть исчерпывающим, он именно первоочередной. С учётом сложностей демографического вызова, с которым сталкивается Россия, будем и дальше наращивать ресурсы на этом направлении. Прошу вас всех, уважаемые коллеги: и Правительство, и Федеральное Собрание, – думать на эту тему и предлагать решения.

Уважаемые коллеги! Решение демографических проблем, рост продолжительности жизни, снижение смертности прямо связаны с преодолением бедности. Напомню, в 2000 году за её чертой находилось более 40 миллионов человек. Сейчас – около 19 миллионов, но и это слишком много, слишком много. А у нас была ситуация, когда это количество ушло к 15 миллионам, сейчас немножко опять подросло. Надо, безусловно, сосредоточить на этом наше внимание – на борьбе с этим явлением.

Причём серьёзные материальные проблемы испытывают ещё больше людей на самом деле, чем те, которые официально находятся за этой чертой. Они вынуждены экономить на самом необходимом – одежде, лекарствах, даже на еде. Среди тех, кто чаще всего сталкивается с бедностью, – многодетные, неполные семьи, семьи, где есть инвалиды, а также одинокие пенсионеры и люди, которые не могут найти достойную работу, хорошо оплачиваемую работу, потому что её просто нет или им не хватает квалификации.

Причин для бедности на самом деле – не только в нашей стране, в мире вообще – очень много, но она всегда буквально придавливает человека, лишает его жизненных перспектив. Государство должно помочь людям, помочь выйти из сложной жизненной ситуации. Опыт некоторых наших регионов показывает, что можно эффективно работать на этом направлении. Я назову эти регионы: это Калужская, Ульяновская, Томская, Вологодская, Нижегородская области, ряд других регионов России. Их опыт показывает, что работающим механизмом такой поддержки может стать социальный контракт, так называемый социальный контракт.

Как он действует, что это такое. Государство оказывает гражданам помощь в трудоустройстве, повышении квалификации. Предоставляет семье финансовые средства – кстати, приличные, речь идёт о десятках тысяч рублей – на организацию подсобного хозяйства или небольшого собственного дела. Подчеркну: для каждого предлагается индивидуальная программа поддержки, исходя из конкретной ситуации. При этом человек, который берёт эти ресурсы, одновременно берёт на себя определённые обязательства: пройти переобучение, найти в соответствии с этим работу, обеспечивать свою семью, детей устойчивым доходом. В мире такой механизм действует и работает достаточно эффективно. И для тех, кто действительно стремится изменить свою жизнь, социальный контракт даёт возможность сделать это.

По оценкам, за 5 лет такой поддержкой смогут воспользоваться более 9 миллионов человек. Поручаю Правительству уже начиная со следующего года на условиях софинансирования с регионами оказать содействие субъектам Федерации, которые активно внедряют практику социального контракта.

Далее. Сегодня многие граждане, семьи берут кредиты на различные цели, потребительские кредиты. Конечно, нужно понимать свою ответственность, рассчитывать силы, всё это понятно. Но в жизни может случиться всё и бывает всё: и потеря работы, и тяжёлая болезнь. И в этой ситуации загонять человека в тупик – последнее дело, да и бессмысленно даже с экономической точки зрения. Для защиты людей нужны дополнительные законодательные гарантии. Так, предлагаю предусмотреть «ипотечные каникулы» – мы недавно говорили об этом в Казани, – то есть отсрочку по платежам для граждан, которые лишились дохода. Дать им возможность сохранить своё единственное жильё, а кредит передвинуть, погасить позднее. Это непростая задача, здесь нужно подумать, как организовать эту работу так, чтобы и финансовым организациям не навредить, и человека поддержать. Но это можно сделать.

Также прошу Банк России и правоохранительные органы в кратчайшие сроки навести порядок на рынке микрокредитования, оградить людей от обмана, мошенничества и настоящего вымогательства подчас со стороны недобросовестных кредиторов.

Подчеркну: и в решении проблемы бедности, и в развитии системы социальной поддержки важно дойти до каждой нуждающейся семьи, разобраться в её проблемах. Ни в коем случае нельзя отказывать в помощи только потому, что жизненные обстоятельства человека «немного» где-то и как-то не вписываются в формальные критерии той или иной нашей программы.

И конечно, нужно щепетильно, внимательно относиться к каждой детали. В качестве примера, не очень хорошего примера для нашей работы, хочу сказать о следующем: в этом году были проиндексированы пенсии в рамках пенсионной реформы. Но если доход пенсионера превысил прожиточный минимум, то ему перестали выплачивать социальную доплату в прежнем размере, или вообще перестали, или снизили её. В результате прибавки к пенсии либо вообще нет, либо она оказалась гораздо меньше, чем человек ожидал. И многие люди с полным на то основанием чувствуют себя обманутыми. Многие здесь, в зале, наверное, понимают, о чём идёт речь. Мы ведь или из регионального, или из федерального бюджета доплачивали до так называемого прожиточного минимума пенсионера. Проиндексировали, и получилось, что прожиточный минимум сравнялся либо превысил. Перестали эти доплаты делать, вот и всё.

Необходимо было учесть все нюансы, однако этого сделано не было, а такого быть, конечно, не должно. Возникшую несправедливость, а это, безусловно, так и есть, надо немедленно устранить. Уже с текущего года индексация пенсий и ежемесячных денежных выплат должна осуществляться в любом случае сверх уровня прожиточного минимума пенсионера, который устанавливается ежегодно. То есть государство сначала, сперва должно довести пенсию до прожиточного минимума, а уже после этого проводить индексацию самой пенсии и ежемесячных денежных выплат. Выплаты за первые месяцы текущего года нужно пересчитать и доплатить людям те деньги, которые они недополучили.

И что особо хочу сейчас отметить: все, кто работает в социальной сфере, приходит на государственную или муниципальную службу решать насущные проблемы граждан, конечно же, должны соответствовать самым строгим профессиональным требованиям. Я думаю, что в основном так оно и есть. Конечно, это очень сложная работа, мы с вами понимаем, работа с людьми каждый день с утра до вечера – это сложная судьба на самом деле. Но если уж пришёл, то надо понимать, что не менее важно чувствовать, понимать людей, сопереживать им, знать их заботы и тревоги и тем более никогда не допускать высокомерного отношения, неуважения к гражданам ни в словах, ни в действиях. Я прошу помнить об этом всегда.

Уважаемые коллеги!

Следующая важная тема – здравоохранение. Знаю, что его нынешнее состояние, уровень доступности медицинской помощи, с одной стороны, вроде как растёт, и действительно растёт, но тем не менее многих граждан не устраивает. И понятно, с чем это связано. Ведь об этой системе, как правило, судят по первичному звену: поликлиникам, амбулаториям, фельдшерско-акушерским пунктам. Именно к их работе у людей больше всего претензий. Зачастую к нужному специалисту многодневная очередь, невозможно быстро и бесплатно пройти необходимое обследование, а в отдалённых населённых пунктах остаётся проблема даже попасть к медицинскому работнику, просто попасть на приём. Да, число фельдшерско-акушерских пунктов и мобильных медицинских комплексов растёт, однако там, где их до сих пор нет, человеку от общих, средних цифр не легче.

До конца 2020 года медицинская помощь должна стать доступной во всех, я хочу это подчеркнуть, именно во всех без исключения населённых пунктах России, для всех граждан, где бы они ни жили. Для справки хочу сказать, что уже за 2019–2020 годы должно быть построено и, надеюсь, будет построено и модернизировано ещё 1590 врачебных амбулаторий и фельдшерских пунктов.

Сейчас в ряде регионов реализуется проект «Бережливая поликлиника». В результате время ожидания в регистратуре, у кабинета врача в среднем сокращается в три-четыре раза. Я был в таких поликлиниках, работают очень здорово, очень хорошо. Гораздо лучшие условия создаются для людей с ограниченными возможностями, для родителей с детьми. Но таких поликлиник, к сожалению, пока очень мало, они скорее исключение, чем правило по стране в среднем. С учётом лучших региональных практик, а они, повторяю, есть, поручаю Правительству уже в этом году утвердить высокие стандарты бережливых поликлиник, принять правила их аттестации, а в следующем году совместно с регионами внедрить механизмы, которые мотивируют управленческий и медицинский персонал повышать качество работы. И в первую очередь уже в 2021 году нужно полностью перевести на новые стандарты все детские поликлиники. Обращаю внимание: дело не в том, чтобы появилась вывеска «Бережливая поликлиника». Главное, чтобы люди наконец почувствовали уважительное, по-настоящему бережное отношение к себе, к своему здоровью со стороны государства.

На повышение доступности медицинской помощи должна работать информатизация здравоохранения. В течение трёх лет надо отладить электронное взаимодействие между медицинскими учреждениями, аптеками, врачами и пациентами. Добавлю: обязательно нужно включить в общую цифровую сеть и организацию медико-социальной экспертизы, тем самым избавить наконец пожилых людей, инвалидов, семьи с детьми от очередей и сбора бессмысленных подчас справок.

Острый вопрос для первичного звена здравоохранения – это дефицит кадров. Здесь наряду с комплексным развитием медицинского образования нужны меры, которые дадут быстрый результат, быстрый эффект. В этой связи предлагаю снять возрастные ограничения для участников программы «Земский доктор», чтобы специалисты старше 50 лет также могли получить единовременную выплату при переезде на работу в сельскую местность или малый город: врачи – миллион рублей, фельдшеры – 500 тысяч рублей.

Далее. Сегодня самые сложные операции, используя новейшее оборудование, успешно делаются не только в федеральных, но и региональных клиниках и центрах. Однако наряду с этим крайне важна и эффективная реабилитация. У нас просто не было никогда такой системы, но нужно с чего-то начинать, и работа здесь предстоит большая. Давайте начнём с создания хотя бы двух детских реабилитационных центров мирового уровня, так же как мы делаем по перинатальным центрам, а затем будем двигаться дальше.

В Послании прошлого года предложил реализовать программу по борьбе с онкологическими заболеваниями. За ближайшие шесть лет направим на эти цели не менее 1 триллиона рублей. Речь об организации своевременного, эффективного и доступного лечения, о внедрении передовых технологий, которые в большинстве случаев позволяют помочь людям, заставляют отступить эту опасную болезнь. Сегодня с диагнозом, например, лейкоз выздоравливает более 80 процентов детей, при некоторых формах рака – более 90 процентов излечиваются. Ещё сравнительно недавно, в середине 90-х годов, болезнь была практически неизлечима, спасти удавалось не более 10–20 процентов заболевших детей. В России тогда не было ни технологий, ни возможностей. Во многих случаях выход был только один – обращаться в зарубежные клиники. Кто мог, тот обращался. Мы понимали весь трагизм этой ситуации и направили на развитие детской онкологической помощи, онкогематологии ресурсы, потенциал нашей науки, здравоохранения, работали очень активно с нашими друзьями из-за границы (некоторые врачи из Германии просто переехали в Москву, здесь проводили, и, наверное, проводят до сих пор, значительное время) и в целом добились результата. Будем продолжать эту работу, чтобы кардинально изменить ситуацию во всей системе онкологической помощи. Принципиальное значение здесь имеет ранняя диагностика. У нас фактически восстановлена система диспансеризации и регулярных профилактических осмотров. Они должны включать обследования на онкологические заболевания. Подчеркну, в обязательном порядке. Причём человеку нужно дать возможность дистанционно записаться на приём, выбрать удобное время для посещения поликлиники, включая вечерние часы и выходные дни, пройти осмотр без дополнительных формальностей.

Далее. Уже в ближайшие годы мы должны сформировать ряд новых направлений на стыке здравоохранения и социального обслуживания. Так, надо в корне изменить систему помощи людям, нуждающимся в долговременном уходе и в стационаре, и дома; настроить её на потребности конкретной семьи, конкретного человека; кому-то помочь в бытовых вопросах (привлечь патронажную службу, сиделку), а где-то обучить родственников медицинским и иным навыкам. Отработка этих индивидуальных принципов поддержки в прошлом году началась в Волгоградской, Костромской, Новгородской, Псковской, Рязанской и Тульской областях. За четыре года их нужно внедрить по всей стране.

Важнейший вопрос, который имеет не только медицинское, но и социальное, общественное, нравственное измерение, – это организация паллиативной помощи. По оценкам, в ней нуждаются до 800 тысяч человек, а волонтёры мне говорили, может быть, и миллион. В январе посещал, как вы знаете, детский хоспис в Петербурге, говорили о проблемах. Знаю, что вчера депутаты Государственной Думы во втором чтении приняли поправки в законодательство о паллиативной помощи. Прошу как можно быстрее завершить работу над законопроектом в целом. В дальнейшем посмотрим, как он действует на практике, и, при необходимости, оперативно внесём коррективы, обязательно учитывая позицию и волонтёров, о которых я только что упоминал, врачей, социальных работников, представителей общественных и религиозных объединений, благотворителей. Всех, кто давно – от сердца идёт это – занимается оказанием паллиативной помощи.

Уважаемые коллеги! Люди проявляют всё более высокие требования к вопросам экологической безопасности. И, пожалуй, самая болезненная тема – это ситуация с коммунальными отходами. Если вы помните, впервые она зазвучала у нас на одной из моих «Прямых линий». Да, так называемыми мусорными проблемами не занимались, может быть, сто лет, то есть никогда, на самом деле, не занимались. Многие полигоны переполнены, десятилетиями скапливались там эти отходы. Полигоны превратились в настоящие горы хлама вблизи жилых кварталов. Кстати говоря, тоже интересно, вы как выдавали разрешительную документацию на строительство жилых кварталов рядом с этими помойками и свалками? Кто об этом подумал? А должны были подумать. Обращаюсь к представителям власти всех уровней: делать вид, что ничего не происходит, уходить в сторону, отмахиваться от требований граждан – абсолютно недопустимо. Эти вопросы трудны, конечно, но ведь и трудные вопросы обязательно надо решать.

С этого года регионы начали переходить на новую систему обращения с твёрдыми коммунальными отходами. Но если всё сведётся к росту платы за вывоз мусора – это не работа, а профанация. Люди должны видеть, за что они платят немалые деньги и какие реальные изменения происходят. Нужно навести порядок в этой сфере, избавиться от мутных структур, которые не несут никакой ответственности, а только получают сверхприбыли, сваливая мусор, где и как придётся. Надо сформировать цивилизованную, безопасную систему обращения с отходами, их переработки и утилизации. Удивительно, но ещё год назад мне лично приходилось вмешиваться в некоторые вопросы. Несколько раз приходилось говорить и Министерству внутренних дел, и Прокуратуре. Вы знаете, удивительно, ещё раз хочу сказать, но почти ничего не двигалось, пока просто в явочном порядке дал команду выставить охрану там и никого не пускать. Только так работает, потому что вот эти мутные так называемые конторы, они на этом наживаются и, наживаясь на этом, неплохо обеспечивают своё благосостояние и свой так называемый бизнес прикрывают.

Я прошу Общероссийский народный фронт обеспечивать здесь действенный гражданский контроль, в том числе опираться на общественных экологических инспекторов. Их сигналы о любых нарушениях должны в обязательном порядке рассматриваться органами власти, вести к принятию конкретных мер. В ближайшие два года должны быть закрыты и рекультивированы 30 крупных проблемных свалок в черте городов, а за шесть лет – и все остальные. При этом надо повысить долю обработки отходов с сегодняшних 8–9 процентов до 60, чтобы не накапливать новые миллионы тонн мусора.

Необходимо переводить на более чистые экологические решения предприятия ЖКХ, энергетики, транспорта. В том числе призываю бизнес активнее участвовать в проектах по развитию рынка газомоторного топлива, инвестировать в создание сети заправок и топливных систем, использующих, в частности, сжиженный природный газ. У нас его достаточно, так, как ни в одной стране мира. Да, это вообще на самом деле непростой и финансово ёмкий проект, но нужно это делать, он принесёт результаты, принесёт результаты и по бизнесу, и людям.

Позитивный эффект от перехода промышленности на наилучшие доступные технологии, на строгие природоохранные стандарты должны почувствовать жители крупнейших индустриальных центров страны, и в первую очередь тех 12 городов, о которых я говорил ещё в Послании 2018 года. Эти города нужно наконец вывести из зоны настоящего экологического бедствия. За шесть лет объём загрязняющих выбросов в атмосферу здесь должен сократиться не менее чем на 20 процентов. А чтобы ни у кого не было соблазна уклоняться от решения такой задачи, нужно чётко установить ответственность в промышленных и других компаниях, обозначить их конкретные шаги, которые они обязаны предпринять для минимизации экологического ущерба, зафиксировать всё это в законе о квотировании выбросов. Я знаю, прекрасно знаю и понимаю, о чём там идёт речь. Знаю, что весьма влиятельные лоббисты стараются всячески притормозить этот законопроект. И аргументы мне хорошо известны: сохранение рабочих мест, сложная экономическая ситуация. Но так не может продолжаться бесконечно. Не может. Напомню, что при принятии подобных решений мы должны руководствоваться не корпоративными интересами, не интересами отдельных уважаемых людей и компаний, а интересами народа России. Прошу принять закон в весеннюю сессию, уважаемые коллеги.

Решение проблем в сфере экологии – это задача для нашей промышленности и науки, ответственность каждого из нас. Призываю самым активным образом включиться в эту работу и молодёжь. Мы должны передать будущим поколениям экологически благополучную страну, сохранить природный потенциал и заповедный фонд России. В этом году откроются новые национальные парки в республиках Дагестан, Коми и в Саха (Якутия), в Алтайском крае и Челябинской области. Но хочу заострить внимание: у многих особо охраняемых территорий границы до сих пор чётко не определены, режимы регулирования не соблюдаются. Поручаю Минприроды провести детальную ревизию. Все заповедные территории должны быть поставлены на кадастровый учёт. Кроме того, необходимо законодательно зафиксировать: в заповедниках возможен исключительно экологический туризм, без изъятия территорий, вырубок леса или капитального строительства. Надо, конечно, иметь в виду интересы людей, которые там проживают. Но надо решать это в комплексе.

Уважаемые коллеги! В лучших столичных и региональных вузах России растёт число студентов из небольших населённых пунктов, удалённых районов. По данным международных исследований, ученики наших начальных и старших классов добиваются хороших результатов и в гуманитарных, и в точных науках, да мы с вами это и видим по конкурсам, по различным универсиадам, которые проводятся в этой сфере. Всё это показатели качественных изменений в школьном образовании.

Однако при всех достижениях нельзя оставлять за скобками и очевидные проблемы в этой важнейшей сфере. Так, доля школ с современными условиями обучения выросла с 12 процентов в 2000 году (было всего 12 процентов) до 85 процентов в 2018-м. Но порядка 200 тысяч ребят всё ещё ходят в школы, где нет нормального отопления, водопровода и канализации. Да, это меньше полутора процентов школьников, но если родители видят, что их ребёнок учится в таких условиях, то все слова о справедливости, равных возможностях этих людей – что? – только раздражают. Обращаю внимание глав регионов, где есть ещё такие школы. За два года проблему нужно полностью решить, мы можем это сделать. Знаю, Правительство думает об этом, принимает определённые решения. Я вас прошу поддержать те регионы, где нет пока собственных возможностей.

Далее. Когда в 2006 году мы начали подключать школы к интернету, технологии были совершенно другими. Знаете, и тогда это казалось прорывом просто. Но это и было прорывом на самом деле, тогда это было очень здорово. Но сегодня эти технологии кажутся древними, и теперь перед нами уже задачи нового уровня. К концу 2021 года все школы России должны иметь не просто доступ в сеть, а высокоскоростной интернет. В 2006 году, напомню, при подключении школ к интернету ориентировались на скорость доступа в 128 килобит в секунду. Сейчас нужно 50 или 100 мегабит в секунду, то есть эта скорость должна вырасти минимум в 400 раз. Но именно это должно открыть ребятам доступ к урокам и лекциям известных преподавателей, конкурсам и к олимпиадам, позволит им существенно нарастить свои возможности, осуществлять совместные онлайн-проекты со сверстниками из других регионов Российской Федерации и из-за рубежа. Должно меняться и содержание образования. В государственных стандартах и программах важно отразить приоритеты научно-технологического развития страны, а в федеральные перечни школьных учебников включать действительно лучшие издания.

И конечно, важнейший вопрос – кадры. Сегодня уже говорил о расширении программы «Земский доктор». Предлагаю с 2020 года запустить аналогичную программу «Земский учитель», по которой единовременную выплату в размере миллиона рублей будут получать педагоги, которые захотят и переезжают работать в сёла и малые города.

Нам нужно последовательно укреплять общее пространство просвещения и культуры. Не позднее 2023 года заработают культурно-образовательные центры в Калининграде, Кемерово, Владивостоке и Севастополе. В них будут представлены наши ведущие музеи и театры, а также филиалы творческих вузов, где учебный процесс начнётся уже в следующем году. Запрос на насыщенную культурную жизнь очень большой, прежде всего в регионах, на местах. Здесь работает много увлечённых, талантливых людей, подлинных энтузиастов своего дела. Я предлагаю существенно расширить поддержку местных культурных инициатив – проектов, связанных с краеведением, народным творчеством, сохранением исторического наследия народов нашей страны, в том числе дополнительно направить на эти цели средства из Фонда президентских грантов. Кроме того, в рамках национального проекта «Культура» целевым образом выделим более 17 миллиардов рублей на строительство и реконструкцию сельских клубов и домов культуры и ещё более 6 миллиардов рублей – на поддержку центров культурного развития в малых городах России.

Напомню также, что медицинские и образовательные организации освобождены от налога на прибыль. Однако эта льгота заканчивается 1 января 2020 года. Предлагаю не только сделать её бессрочной, но и распространить на региональные и муниципальные музеи, театры и библиотеки. Это, кстати говоря, позволит им ежегодно экономить примерно 4 миллиарда рублей и направить их на своё развитие, на повышение зарплат сотрудников. И конечно, эта мера станет стимулом для частных инвестиций в культурные объекты на местах.

Уважаемые коллеги! Обращаю внимание глав субъектов Федерации: необходимо сохранить достигнутое соотношение оплаты труда специалистов образования, здравоохранения, культуры, других бюджетных сфер со средней зарплатой по экономике региона. Это очень важная вещь, коллеги. Я многократно, постоянно вам об этом говорю на встречах. Нельзя опускать эту планку. Но и зарплата по экономике должна расти, должна повышаться. У нас более 40 миллионов граждан – это бюджетники, военнослужащие, неработающие пенсионеры – получают фиксированные доходы, и они должны расти не ниже уровня инфляции. Я прошу Правительство учитывать это в своей работе.

Ещё более 70 миллионов человек трудится в промышленности, в сельском хозяйстве, в сфере услуг, ведут небольшой бизнес. Их доходы, благополучие, уверенность в будущем прямо связаны с ситуацией в экономике нашей страны. И чтобы добиться устойчивого повышения оплаты труда, в первую очередь нужна качественная занятость и свобода для предпринимательства, квалифицированные, хорошо оплачиваемые рабочие места во всех регионах страны и в традиционных, и в новых отраслях, в конечном итоге нужны высокие темпы экономического роста. Только так можно победить бедность, обеспечить стабильное, ощутимое повышение доходов граждан, это ключ к успеху. Уже в 2021 году темпы роста российской экономики должны превысить 3 процента, а в дальнейшем опережать мировые. Эту задачу никто не снимает.

Правительству и Центральному банку необходимо вновь войти в целевые показатели инфляции. Я уже об этом говорил, и мы, когда принимали соответствующие решения по наполнению финансовой «кубышки» для реализации национальных проектов, знали, что так и будет происходить. Это сегодня ожидаемый эффект. Но нужно, чтобы также ожидаемой была и нормализация этой ситуации. Такие возможности у нас есть. Правительству, Центральному банку, как я сказал, нужно войти в целевые показатели инфляции и в целом обеспечить благоприятные макроэкономические условия для роста. У нас мощная финансовая подушка безопасности.

Могу вас проинформировать, это приятная, хорошая информация. Впервые в истории наши резервы полностью покрывают внешний долг как государства, он у нас очень небольшой, так и коммерческого сектора. И эти деньги работают, в том числе в полном объёме поступают в российский бюджет доходы от размещения средств Фонда национального благосостояния. Поэтому я обращаюсь к тем коллегам, которые постоянно критиковали Правительство, финансовый, экономический блок: где деньги, куда мы их вкладываем. У нас есть задача – дорастить до определённого уровня и потом потихоньку, потихоньку использовать это, не раскачивая макроэкономическую ситуацию. Мы сейчас к этому подошли, мы начинаем это делать. Эти доходы от размещения поступают в федеральный бюджет. Совокупный доход от размещения средств ФНБ, зачисленный в бюджет 2018 года, составил 70,5 миллиарда рублей.

Для того чтобы выйти на высокие темпы роста, также нужно решить системные проблемы в экономике. Выделю здесь четыре приоритета.

Первое – это опережающий темп роста производительности труда, прежде всего на основе новых технологий и цифровизации, формирование конкурентоспособных отраслей и как результат – увеличение несырьевого экспорта более чем в полтора раза за шесть лет.

Второе – это улучшение делового климата и качества национальной юрисдикции, чтобы никто не убегал в другие юрисдикции за границу, чтобы у нас всё было надёжно и работало как часы. Рост объёма инвестиций уже в 2020 году должен увеличиться на 6–7 процентов. Достижение такого уровня станет одним из ключевых критериев оценки работы Правительства.

Третье – снятие инфраструктурных ограничений для развития экономики, для раскрытия потенциала наших регионов.

И четвёртое – подготовка современных кадров, разумеется, создание мощной научно-технологической базы.

На этих направлениях, на конкретных задачах позвольте остановиться чуть-чуть поподробнее.

В России сейчас формируется колоссальный гарантированный спрос на промышленную и высокотехнологичную продукцию. И это без преувеличения. Вот я хочу прямо употребить это слово. Исторические возможности для качественного роста российского бизнеса, для машино- и станкостроения, микроэлектроники, IT-индустрии, для других отраслей. Только в рамках национальных проектов планируются закупки медицинского, строительного оборудования, приборов, средств телекоммуникаций, систем для ЖКХ и транспорта объёмом порядка (вдумайтесь) 6 триллионов рублей. И эти ресурсы должны работать здесь, в России.

Обращаюсь к Правительству, регионам, представителям госкомпаний, которых вижу здесь, в этом зале. Конечно, надо покупать всё самое современное и подешевле. Естественно, все хотят быть и должны быть конкурентоспособными, но там, где возможно, опираться нужно на своего производителя, на отечественного. Надо их искать, даже вместе с ними работать. Конечно, должна быть конкурентная среда, но у нас уже есть инструменты поддержки именно своего производителя. Нужно не забывать про эти инструменты, использовать их.

Подчеркну, доступ к заказам должен быть равным (во всяком случае для своих, для национальных компаний), чтобы побеждали те, кто докажет свою состоятельность напряжённой работой и результатами, готовностью меняться, внедрять передовые технологии и повышать производительность труда, предлагать лучший, конкурентный товар.

Что касается оборонно-промышленного комплекса, то нужно использовать сегодняшние возможности для диверсификации, для наращивания выпуска гражданской продукции. Коллеги знают, о чём речь. Есть определённые цифры по годам. Надо кровь из носу выполнять эти задачи.

И конечно, сейчас время для смелых инициатив, для создания бизнесов и производств, для продвижения новых продуктов и услуг. Причём волна технологического развития позволяет расти, завоёвывать рынки очень быстро. У нас уже есть примеры успешных компаний, инновационных компаний. Нужно, чтобы их было намного больше, в том числе в таких сферах, как искусственный интеллект и обработка больших данных, интернет вещей, робототехника.

Поручаю Правительству сформировать максимально комфортные условия для частных инвестиций в технологические стартапы, нацелить на их поддержку институты развития. А парламентариев прошу оперативно принять законы, приоритетные для создания правовой среды новой, цифровой экономики, которые позволят заключать гражданские сделки и привлекать финансирование с использованием цифровых технологий, развивать электронную торговлю и сервисы. Всё наше законодательство нужно настроить на новую технологическую реальность. Оно, это законодательство, а точнее, они, эти законы, не должны ограничивать становление передовых перспективных отраслей, а должны помогать этому развитию.

Важнейший показатель роста эффективности и конкурентоспособности бизнеса – расширение экспорта, выход на внешние рынки. Хороший пример для этого, конечно, успехи отечественного сельского хозяйства. В 2018 году рост был 19,4 процента, экспорт составил 25,8 миллиарда долларов. В 2024 году это должно быть уже 45 миллиардов долларов. Кстати, мы не только являемся одним из крупнейших экспортёров пшеницы (в прошлом году объёмы её экспорта составили 44 миллиона тонн), у нас есть ещё одно весомое достижение, ещё как минимум одно. Благодаря разработкам российских учёных мы обеспечили свою независимость по семенам пшеницы. Специалисты подтвердят, насколько это критически важно. У России должен быть весь набор собственных передовых агротехнологий, доступных не только крупным, но и небольшим хозяйствам. Это вопрос практически национальной безопасности и успешной конкуренции на растущих рынках продовольствия.

Ключевым, долгосрочным фактором устойчивого роста сельского хозяйства, конечно же, должно стать повышение качества жизни людей, тех, кто трудится на селе. Я обращаю внимание Правительства, уже в этом году необходимо принять новую программу развития сельских территорий, и она должна заработать с 1 января 2020 года.

И ещё. Наше естественное преимущество (я думаю, что все с этим согласятся) – это огромные природные возможности, их нужно использовать для наращивания производства именно экологически чистой продукции. Поручаю Правительству создать защищённый бренд отечественной чистой, «зелёной» продукции, он должен подтверждать, что в её производстве используются только безопасные для здоровья человека технологии, заслужить гарантии высокого качества и на внутреннем, и на внешнем рынке. На внешнем пойдёт всё влёт, уверяю вас, там ничего чистого вообще не осталось, за границей.

Уважаемые коллеги, чтобы добиться тех масштабных целей, которые стоят перед страной, нам нужно избавляться от всего, что ограничивает свободу и инициативу предпринимательства. Добросовестный бизнес не должен постоянно ходить под статьёй, постоянно чувствовать риск уголовного или даже административного наказания. Уже обращал внимание на эту проблему в одном из Посланий, приводил соответствующие цифры. Ситуация, к сожалению, не сильно изменилась.

Сегодня почти половина дел (45 процентов), возбуждённых в отношении предпринимателей, прекращается, не доходя до суда. Что это значит? Это значит, что возбуждали кое-как или по непонятным соображениям. А что это значит на практике? В результате на одного предпринимателя, бизнес которого разваливается в этой связи, в среднем приходится 130 сотрудников, потерявших работу. Давайте вдумаемся в эту цифру, это становится серьёзной проблемой для экономики. Бизнес указывает на целый ряд проблем в законодательстве и правоприменительной практике. Согласен с тем, что нужно внимательно посмотреть на критерии, по которым все сотрудники той или иной компании только по факту совместной работы могут попасть под такой квалифицирующий признак, как группа лиц по предварительному сговору. Это вообще ерунда какая-то, но такое бывает, к сожалению. И это влечёт за собой более строгую меру пресечения на этапе следствия и более тяжёлое наказание позднее. Кроме того, при расследовании так называемых экономических уголовных дел нужно жёстко ограничивать поводы раз за разом продлевать сроки содержания под стражей. Сегодня это происходит порой без веских оснований, например, из-за того, что не хватает времени на проведение необходимых экспертиз или в результате затягивания следственных действий.

С Генеральным прокурором, с Председателем Верховного Суда мы говорили на этот счёт. Действительно, смотрите, человек сидит за решёткой, его ни разу в течение нескольких месяцев не вызывали на допрос. Прокурор спрашивает: «Почему на допрос не вызывали?» – «В отпуске был следователь», – отвечают. Там загрузка огромная, конечно, у следственных работников, в МВД – особенно, просто вал, и с этим тоже нужно что-то делать, надо посмотреть на это повнимательнее. Необходимо, может, и ресурсы дополнительные выделять, количество следователей увеличивать. Но как так? У него сидит человек за решёткой, а он в отпуск пошёл и за несколько месяцев ни разу на допрос не вызвал. Такого не должно быть, надо точно с этим разобраться. Я прошу Верховный Суд и Генеральную прокуратуру проанализировать ещё раз эти проблемы и представить соответствующие предложения.

Также деловым объединениям и Агентству стратегических инициатив предлагаю создать специальную цифровую платформу (они, собственно говоря, сами вышли с этой инициативой), с помощью которой предприниматели смогут не только сделать публичной информацию о давлении на бизнес, но, главное, добиться рассмотрения вопроса по существу.

Вы знаете, здесь обращаюсь к руководителям правоохранительных органов: не нужно этого пугаться. Это подспорье как раз для руководства этих органов, с тем чтобы руководящий состав на самом верхнем уровне оперативно, по-современному, объективно получал всю необходимую информацию для принятия соответствующих решений на ведомственном хотя бы уровне для начала. Я поручаю Правительству вместе с бизнес-сообществом проработать технологические решения и нормативную базу, которая позволит запустить этот механизм, а правоохранительным ведомствам – МВД, ФСБ, Генпрокуратуре, Следственному комитету – подготовить регламент работы с обращениями предпринимателей, включая четкие сроки их рассмотрения. И уже к концу года такая платформа должна начать действовать хотя бы в пилотном режиме.

Далее. Правительство предлагает серьезно пересмотреть правовую базу контрольно-надзорной деятельности. Это, безусловно, правильно, это нужно всячески поддержать. Но считаю, что этого даже мало. Надо пойти на более радикальные шаги. Давайте действительно подведем черту, и с 1 января 2021 года прекратим действие всех существующих в настоящее время нормативных актов в сфере контроля, надзора и ведомственные региональные приказы, письма и инструкции. За оставшиеся два года (два года есть впереди) при участии делового сообщества нужно обновить нормативную базу, сохранить только те документы, которые отвечают современным требованиям, остальные – сдать в архив.

Смотрите. Когда мы обсуждали эту тему, многие коллеги сказали, искренне сказали, реакция была такая: страшно. Действительно, знаете, страшно, и есть проблема. Это не так просто. Ведь там по некоторым направлениям, по некоторым ведомствам вот такие фолианты, вот такой толщины, они же десятилетиями накапливались, еще с советских времен многие работают, со времен «очаковских и покоренья Крыма». Но не 2014 год имею в виду, конечно. (Смех в зале.) Еще со времен Александра Сергеевича Грибоедова и раньше. И конечно, там столько всего отрегламентировано, столько понаписано. Но я, знаете, сомневаюсь, что даже сотрудники этих ведомств знают на 100 процентов, что там написано, поэтому нужно провести этот анализ за два года, не бояться этого, засучить рукава, сделать, провести эту работу и, действительно, оставить только то, и обновить по-современному то, что действительно нужно для организации работы.

Уважаемые коллеги! На базе передовых технологий нужно форсировать модернизацию инфраструктуры. Это имеет огромное значение для укрепления связанности страны, особенно это важно для нас, для страны с самой большой территорией в мире, с такой огромной территорией. Это имеет огромное значение для укрепления всего каркаса государства, для раскрытия потенциала территории, для роста экономики Российской Федерации.

В этом году начнется железнодорожное движение по Крымскому мосту, что даст мощный импульс. Кстати, спасибо и строителям, и железнодорожникам. Видели, уже сделан обход вокруг Краснодара и подход к этой транспортной развязке с Кавказского побережья. В этом году начнется железнодорожное движение по Крымскому мосту, как я уже сказал. Это даст возможность мощно развивать и Крым, и Севастополь. Но также на всем протяжении заработает скоростная автодорога Москва – Санкт-Петербург, а это новые возможности и для бизнеса, это новые рабочие места для жителей Новгородской, Тверской, Ленинградской и Московской областей.

За шесть лет по всей стране будет реконструировано более 60 аэропортов, в том числе строятся международные аэропортовые комплексы в Хабаровске, Южно-Сахалинске, Петропавловске-Камчатском. В 2025 году более чем в полтора раза (до 210 миллионов тонн) вырастет пропускная способность БАМа и Транссиба. Все это крайне важно для развития Сибири и Дальнего Востока.

Вновь повторю: все дальневосточные субъекты Федерации должны выйти на уровень выше среднероссийского по ключевым социально-экономическим показателям, по качеству жизни людей. Это общенациональная задача, это чрезвычайно важное направление нашей работы, стратегическое направление – Восточная Сибирь и Дальний восток. Надо постоянно иметь это в виду всем ведомствам.

В сентябре во Владивостоке обсудим, что каждое из федеральных ведомств сделало и делает для Дальнего Востока. Все наши планы строительства и модернизации автомобильных и железных дорог, морских портов, авиасообщений, систем связи нужно нацелить на развитие регионов, в том числе на повышение их туристической привлекательности.

Интерес к России, к нашей культуре, природе, историческим памятникам просто огромен. С учетом успешного опыта чемпионата мира по футболу предлагаю шире применять электронные визы, в целом подумать, как упростить визовые формальности для туристов, приезжающих в нашу страну.

Далее. Уже в текущем году необходимо принять генеральную схему развития инфраструктуры цифровой экономики, включая сети телекоммуникаций, мощности по хранению и обработке данных. И здесь также нужно смотреть вперед. Задача ближайших лет – организовать повсеместный доступ к высокоскоростному интернету, начать эксплуатацию систем связи пятого поколения, 5G.

Для настоящей революции в области связи, навигации, создания систем дистанционного зондирования земли необходимо кратно увеличить возможности нашей спутниковой группировки. Россия обладает для этого уникальными технологиями, но такие задачи требуют и качественного обновления всей космической отрасли. В том числе поручаю «Роскосмосу» совместно с Правительством Москвы – коллеги приходили ко мне, докладывали, хороший проект – сформировать Национальный космический центр. Он должен объединить основные профильные организации, конструкторские бюро и опытные производства, обеспечить проведение научных исследований и подготовку кадров.

Уважаемые коллеги! Мы видим, что глобальная конкуренция все больше смещается в область науки, технологий, образования. Еще недавно казалось невероятным, что Россия сможет совершить не просто прорыв, а высокотехнологичный прорыв в оборонной сфере. Это было трудно, сложно, многое приходилось восстанавливать или создавать буквально с нуля, идти действительно непроторенной дорогой, находить смелые и уникальные решения. И это сделали, сделали наши инженеры, рабочие, ученые, в том числе совсем молодые люди, которые выросли на этих проектах. Повторю, знаю все детали этой масштабной работы, и у меня есть все основания сказать, что создание, например, стратегического гиперзвукового планирующего крылатого блока системы «Авангард» соразмерно по своему значению запуску первого искусственного спутника Земли. И с точки зрения повышения обороноспособности, ну, прежде всего, конечно, с этой точки зрения, и безопасности страны, но и по своему влиянию на укрепление потенциала нашей науки, на формирование уникальных технологических заделов.

В свое время атомный оборонный проект дал стране атомную энергетику. Создание ракетного щита, которое началось, в том числе, и с запуска первого искусственного спутника Земли, позволило начать мирное освоение космоса. Сегодня те кадры, знания, компетенции, материалы, которые мы получили при разработке оружия нового поколения, нужно столь же результативно использовать в интересах гражданских сфер.

Сейчас нам предстоит осуществить новые амбициозные научно-технологические программы. Уже подписан Указ о генетических исследованиях, такую же масштабную программу национального уровня предлагаю запустить и в области искусственного интеллекта. В середине следующего десятилетия мы должны войти в число лидеров по этим научно-технологическим направлениям, которые, безусловно, будут определять будущее всего мира и будущее России.

Для реализации подобных проектов необходимо ускорить создание продвинутой научной инфраструктуры. Недавно, кстати, в Ленинградской области состоялся запуск установки класса «megascience» реактора «ПИК». В течение ближайших 20 лет он будет одним из самых мощных источников нейтронов в мире, позволит проводить уникальные исследования в области физики, биологии, химии, поможет разрабатывать новые лекарства, средства диагностики, новые материалы. Впервые за последние десятилетия на российских верфях будут заложены современные научно-исследовательские суда. Они смогут работать во всех стратегических районах, включая арктические моря и Антарктику, вести изучение шельфа, природных богатств Мирового океана.

Для мощного технологического развития нам нужно выстроить современную модель исследований и разработок. Именно для этого мы создаем в регионах научно-образовательные центры, которые призваны интегрировать все уровни образования, возможности научных организаций и бизнеса. В течение трех лет такие центры должны быть созданы в 15 субъектах Российской Федерации, в том числе первые пять – в этом году, три из них – в Тюменской, Белгородской областях и в Пермском крае – находятся в высокой степени готовности и в этом году должны быть запущены.

Нам необходимы специалисты, способные работать на передовых производствах, создавать и использовать прорывные технические решения. Для этого нужно обеспечить широкое внедрение обновленных учебных программ на всех уровнях профессионального образования, организовать подготовку кадров для тех отраслей, которые еще только формируются.

В конце августа в России состоится чемпионат мира WorldSkills по рабочим профессиям. Давайте пожелаем нашей команде успехов. Этот успех значим для повышения престижа рабочих профессий, рабочих специальностей. Опираясь на опыт движения WorldSkills, надо ускорить модернизацию среднего профессионального образования, в том числе уже к 2022 году переоснастить современным оборудованием более 2 тысяч мастерских в колледжах и техникумах.

Увлечение профессией, творчеством формируется еще в юные годы. За три предстоящих года за счет расширения сети детских технопарков, кванториумов, центров цифрового, естественно-научного, гуманитарного развития будет создано порядка миллиона новых мест в системе дополнительного образования. Оно должно быть доступно для всех детей.

Настоящим созвездием становится сочинский «Сириус». Планировалось, что основанные на его модели центры поддержки одаренных ребят появятся во всех регионах страны к 2024 году. Но коллеги говорят, что готовы сделать это и раньше, за два года. Такую работу на опережение можно только приветствовать. И считаю, что резервы для наращивания темпов есть в каждом национальном проекте. Рассчитываю, что наши компании, деловые сообщества будут активно присоединяться к проектам, таким как «Билет в будущее», благодаря которому школьники, начиная с шестого класса, смогут не только пройти профориентацию, но и получить практику на предприятиях, в научных центрах, на других площадках. Я вообще хочу обратить внимание молодежи. Ваш талант, энергия, креативные способности – в числе самых сильных конкурентных преимуществ в России. Мы это понимаем и очень ценим. И чтобы каждый молодой человек (студент, школьник) мог проявить себя, мы уже создали целую систему проектов и конкурсов личностного роста. Это так называемые «ПроеКТОриЯ», «Мой первый бизнес», «Я – профессионал», «Лидеры России» и многие другие. Хочу подчеркнуть: все это – обращаюсь опять к молодым людям – создается для того, чтобы вы использовали эти возможности. И призываю вас активно и смело пользоваться этим, дерзать, осуществлять свои мечты и планы, приносить пользу себе, своей семье, своей стране.

Уважаемые коллеги! Россия была и будет суверенным, независимым государством. Это просто аксиома. Она будет либо такой, либо вообще ее не будет. Для всех нас это должно быть понятно, мы должны это понимать и осознавать. Россия не может быть государством, если она не будет суверенной. Некоторые страны могут, Россия – нет.

Выстраивать отношения с нами значит находить совместные развязки, причем самых сложных вопросов, а не пытаться диктовать условия. Приоритеты нашей внешней политики абсолютно открыты: это укрепление доверия, борьба с общими для всего мира угрозами, расширение сотрудничества в экономике, торговле, образовании, культуре, науке и технологиях, снятие барьеров для общения между людьми. Именно на этой основе мы ведем работу в ООН, а также в Содружестве Независимых Государств, на площадках «Группы двадцати», БРИКС, Шанхайской организации сотрудничества. Считаем правильным активно углублять взаимодействие в рамках Союзного государства России и Белоруссии, включая более тесную координацию во внешнеполитической сфере, в экономике. Вместе с партнерами по интеграции продолжим формировать общие рынки и укреплять внешние связи Евразийского экономического союза. В том числе предстоит воплотить в жизнь уже принятые решения о сопряжении Евразэс с китайской инициативой «Один пояс, один путь» как пролог к созданию большого евразийского партнерства.

Наши равноправные взаимовыгодные отношения с Китаем сегодня служат важным стабилизирующим фактом в мировых делах, в обеспечении безопасности в Евразии, показывают пример плодотворного сотрудничества в экономике. Большое внимание уделяем раскрытию потенциала особо привилегированного стратегического партнерства с Индией. Продолжим развивать политический диалог и экономическое сотрудничество с Японией. Готовы к совместному поиску взаимоприемлемых условий для заключения мирного договора. Намерены углублять взаимодействия с Ассоциацией государств Юго-Восточной Азии. Надеемся также, что со стороны Евросоюза, ведущих стран Европы все-таки будут предприняты реальные шаги по восстановлению нормальных, политических и экономических отношений с Россией. Граждане этих стран заинтересованы в таком сотрудничестве с Россией, включая, конечно, крупные, да и мелкие, средние компании, вообще, бизнес европейских стран, что, безусловно, отвечало бы наших общим интересам.

Самым острым и обсуждаемым на сегодняшний день вопросом российско-американских отношений остается односторонний выход в США из Договора о ракетах средней и меньшей дальности. Поэтому вынужден, просто вынужден остановиться на этом чуть подробнее. Да, действительно, с момента заключения этого Договора в 1987 году произошли серьезные изменения в мире. Многие страны развивали и продолжают развивать данный вид вооружения, а Россия и США – нет, мы сами себя добровольно в этом ограничиваем. Такое положение дел, конечно же, может вызывать вопросы, понятно. Так, нужно было нашим американским партнерам так и сказать, сказать по-честному, а не использовать надуманные обвинения в адрес России для обоснования своего одностороннего выхода из Договора. Сделали бы лучше, как в 2002 году, из ПРО вышли, всё, в открытую, по-честному. Хорошо это или плохо – другой вопрос. Я считаю, что плохо. Но сделали так и все. И здесь надо было так поступить, именно по-честному. Как они действуют на самом деле? Сами все нарушают, а потом ищут оправдание и назначают виновных. Но еще и своих сателлитов мобилизуют: они так аккуратненько, но все-таки американцам подхрюкивают по этому вопросу. Сперва начали разработку и применение ракет средней дальности, присвоив им для отвода глаз наименование «ракеты-мишени» для целей ПРО. Затем приступили к развертыванию в Европе универсальных пусковых установок Mk-41, которые позволяют осуществить боевое применение крылатых ракет средней дальности «Томагавк».

Я говорю об этом только потому, и трачу свое и ваше время, что мы вынуждены отвечать на те обвинения, которые слышим в наш адрес. Но, сделав все это, о чем я сейчас сказал, США откровенно пренебрегли, демонстративно проигнорировали совокупность положений, предусмотренных статьями 4 и 6 Договора о ракетах средней и меньшей дальности. В частности, согласно пункту 1 статьи 4 Договора (я цитирую), «каждая из сторон ликвидирует свои ракеты средней дальности и пусковые установки таких ракет, чтобы ни у одной из сторон не имелось таких ракет и таких пусковых установок». В статье 6, пункт 1 говорится (зачитываю дословно): «По вступлении в силу настоящего Договора и в дальнейшем ни одна из сторон не производит никаких ракет средней дальности, не проводит летных испытаний таких ракет и не производит никаких ступеней для таких ракет и никаких пусковых установок таких ракет». Конец цитаты.

Запуская ракеты-мишени средней дальности и размещая в Румынии и Польше пусковые установки, пригодные для применения крылатых ракет «Томагавк», США эти требования договора прямо и грубо нарушили. Ну, сделали же это уже давно. В Румынии уже стоят эти пусковые установки, и ничего, вроде как ничего и не происходит. Странно прям. Для нас ничего странного нет, но люди-то должны это видеть и понимать.

Как мы оцениваем в этой связи ситуацию. Я уже говорил и хочу повторить: Россия не намерена – это очень важно, я повторяю это специально – Россия не намерена первой размещать подобные ракеты в Европе. Если же они действительно будут произведены и поставлены на европейский континент, а США такие планы имеют, во всяком случае, мы не слышали обратных заявлений, то это резко обострит ситуацию в сфере международной безопасности, создаст для России серьезные угрозы, ведь у некоторых классов этих ракет подлетное время до Москвы может составить до 10–12 минут. Это и есть очень серьезная угроза для нас. В таком случае мы будем вынуждены, я хочу это подчеркнуть, именно вынуждены, предусмотреть зеркальные и асимметричные действия. Что это значит.

Скажу уже сегодня прямо и открыто, чтобы никто нас потом ни в чем не упрекал, чтобы всем было заранее ясно, о чем здесь идет речь. Россия будет вынуждена создать и развернуть виды вооружений, которые могут быть использованы не только в отношении тех территорий, с которых для нас будет исходить соответствующая прямая угроза, но и в отношении тех территорий, где находятся центры принятия решений о применении угрожающих нам ракетных комплексов.

Что в этой связи важно, и здесь много новизны. По своим тактико-техническим данным, в том числе по подлетному времени до указанных центров управления, эти вооружения будут вполне соответствовать тем угрозам, которые направлены против России.

Знаем, как это сделать и реализуем эти планы немедленно, как только соответствующие угрозы для нас станут реальными. Не думаю, что международная обстановка сегодня такова, что требует дополнительного и безответственного обострения. Мы этого не хотим.

Что здесь хочу добавить? Американские коллеги уже пытались получить абсолютное военное превосходство с помощью глобальной ПРО. Нужно оставить подобные иллюзии. Ответ с нашей стороны всегда будет действенным и эффективным.

Работа по перспективным образцам и системам вооружений, о которых говорил в Послании прошлого года, продолжается – ритмично, без сбоев по плану. Началось серийное производство комплекса «Авангард», о котором сегодня уже упоминал. В этом году, как и планировалось, им будет оснащен первый полк РВСН. Проводится и цикл испытаний тяжелой, беспрецедентной по мощности межконтинентальной ракеты «Сармат». Лазерные установки «Пересвет» и авиационные комплексы с гиперзвуковыми ракетами «Кинжал» в режиме опытно-боевого дежурства подтвердили свои уникальные характеристики, личный состав получил опыт их эксплуатации. В декабре этого года все поставленные в Вооруженные Силы «Пересветы» заступят на боевое дежурство. Продолжится и работа по расширению инфраструктуры базирования самолетов МиГ-31, оснащенных ракетами «Кинжал». Успешно проходят испытания крылатая ракета неограниченной дальности с ядерной двигательной установкой «Буревестник», а также подводный неограниченной дальности беспилотный аппарат «Посейдон».

В этой связи хочу сделать одно важное замечание. Ранее об этом не говорилось, но сегодня можно сказать: уже весной этого года будет спущена на воду первая атомная подводная лодка – носитель этого беспилотного комплекса. Работа идет по плану.

Сегодня считаю возможным также официально проинформировать вас и еще об одной перспективной новинке. Помните, в прошлый раз я говорил: есть еще что сказать, пока рановато. Вот потихонечку так будем рассказывать, что у нас там в загашнике. Так вот еще об одной перспективной новинке, работа над которой идет успешно и в запланированные сроки, безусловно, будет завершена, а именно хочу сказать о гиперзвуковой ракете «Циркон» со скоростью полета около девяти махов, дальностью более тысячи километров, способной поражать как морские, так и наземные цели. Ее применение предусмотрено с морских носителей, серийных надводных кораблей и подводных лодок, в том числе уже произведенных и строящихся под ракетные комплексы высокоточного оружия «Калибр». То есть все это будет для нас незатратно.

В этой связи хочу подчеркнуть, что для защиты национальных интересов России на два-три года ранее сроков, установленных госпрограммой вооружения, Военно-Морскому Флоту России будут переданы семь новых многоцелевых подводных лодок, в ближайшее время будет заложено пять надводных кораблей дальней морской зоны, еще 16 кораблей такого класса будут введены в состав ВМФ до 2027 года.

Завершая тему одностороннего выхода США из Договора о ракетах средней и меньшей дальности, хотел бы сказать следующее. В последние годы США проводят на российском направлении политику, которую вряд ли можно назвать дружественной. Законные интересы России игнорируются, постоянно организуются разного рода антироссийские акции, абсолютно не спровоцированно, хочу это подчеркнуть, не спровоцированно с нашей стороны вводятся все новые и новые незаконные с точки зрения международного права санкции. Практически полностью и в одностороннем порядке демонтируется сложившаяся за последние десятилетия договорно-правовая база международной безопасности, и при этом Россию же называют чуть ли не главной угрозой для США.

Скажу прямо: это не правда. Россия хочет иметь полноценные, равноправные и дружеские отношения с США. Россия никому не угрожает, а все наши действия в сфере безопасности носят исключительно ответный, а значит, оборонительный характер. Мы не заинтересованы в конфронтации и не хотим ее, тем более с такой глобальной державой, как Соединенные Штаты Америки. Но, похоже, наши партнеры не замечают, как и какими темпами меняется мир, куда он движется. Они продолжают свою разрушительную и явно ошибочную политику. Вряд ли это соответствует интересам самих США. Но это не нам решать.

Мы видим, что имеем дело с деятельными, очень талантливыми людьми, однако среди правящего класса много и таких, кто излишне увлечен идеей своей исключительности и своего превосходства над всем остальным миром. Разумеется, их право думать так, как они хотят. Но считать-то они умеют? Умеют наверняка. Пусть посчитают дальность и скорость наших перспективных систем оружия. Мы просим только об этом: пусть сначала посчитают, а уже только после этого принимают решения, которые могут создать дополнительные серьезные угрозы для нашей страны и, разумеется, приведут к ответным действиям со стороны России, безопасность которой будет надежно и безусловно обеспечена.

Кстати, уже говорил и хочу повторить: мы готовы к переговорам по разоруженческой тематике, но стучаться в закрытую дверь больше не будем. Подождем, пока и наши партнеры созреют, осознают необходимость равноправного диалога по этой теме.

Мы продолжим развивать наши Вооруженные Силы, повышать интенсивность и качество боевой подготовки, в том числе с учетом опыта антитеррористической операции в Сирии. А его получили практически все командиры крупных соединений Сухопутных войск, силы специальных операций и военной полиции в части обеспечения, экипажи боевых кораблей, армейской, оперативно-тактической, стратегической и военно-транспортной авиации.

Хочу вновь подчеркнуть: для устойчивого и долгосрочного развития нам нужен мир. И вся работа по повышению обороноспособности имеет только одну цель: она направлена на обеспечение безопасности страны и наших граждан, чтобы никто не только не мог помыслить об агрессии против России, но даже о том, чтобы попытаться использовать методы силового давления в отношении нашей страны.

Уважаемые коллеги! Перед нами стоят масштабные задачи. Мы идем к их решению системно и последовательно, выстраивая такую модель социального, экономического развития, которая позволит обеспечить наилучшие условия для самореализации человека, а значит, дать достойные ответы на вызовы стремительно меняющегося мира, сохранить Россию как цивилизацию, основанную на собственной идентичности на многовековых традициях, на культуре наших народов, ценностях и наших традициях. Добиться поставленных целей мы сможем, разумеется, только объединяя усилия, только вместе, при сплоченности общества, готовности всех нас, всех граждан России достигать успехов в конкретных делах.

Такой солидарный настрой на перемены – всегда осознанный выбор самих людей. Они делают его, когда понимают, что развитие страны зависит именно от них, от результатов их труда, когда стремление быть нужным, полезным ценится и поддерживается, когда каждому находится дело по призванию и по душе и, главное, когда есть справедливость, широкое пространство для свободы и равных возможностей для работы, учебы, инициативы и новаторства.

Эти условия прорывного развития невозможно перевести в цифры и показатели, но именно они – консолидация общества, включенность граждан в дела страны, общая уверенность в наших силах – являются определяющими для достижения успехов. И этого успеха мы обязательно добьемся.

Благодарю вас за внимание.

Звучит Гимн Российской Федерации.

Интервью сербским изданиям «Политика» и «Вечерние новости»

Интервью сербским изданиям «Политика» и «Вечерние новости»

В преддверии визита в Республику Сербия Владимир Путин ответил на вопросы сербских СМИ – газет «Политика» и «Вечерние новости».

Газета «Политика»

Вопрос: Сербию и Россию связывает многовековая историческая, культурная и религиозная близость, а также братство по оружию в двух мировых войнах. Перед нами стоят новые вызовы. Как Вы оцениваете наши актуальные отношения и перспективы их развития? Много говорится о новом газопроводе «Турецкий поток», есть ли здесь шанс и для нашей страны?

В.Путин: Прежде всего тепло приветствую всех читателей ежедневной газеты «Политика» – одного из старейших изданий, выпускаемых ныне не только в Сербии, но и на Балканах. И, пользуясь случаем, хочу поздравить граждан республики с прошедшими новогодними и рождественскими праздниками.

Действительно, как Вы отметили, в основе добрых отношений России и Сербии лежит многовековая искренняя дружба наших народов, духовное и культурное родство, общие страницы истории, в том числе героическая борьба против нацизма в годы Второй мировой войны. И в новом, XXI веке мы бережно храним и развиваем бесценные традиции доверия и сотрудничества. Такая готовность к тесному взаимодействию в политике, экономике, гуманитарной сфере нашла отражение в двусторонней Декларации о стратегическом партнёрстве, подписанной в мае 2013 года.

Сегодня двусторонние связи по всем направлениям находятся на подъёме. Растёт взаимный товарооборот: в 2017 году он составил 2 миллиарда долларов и в прошлом году продолжил увеличиваться. Российские капиталовложения в сербскую экономику превысили 4 миллиарда долларов. Взаимодействие с концерном «Газпромнефть» позволило компании «Нефтяная индустрия Сербии» выйти в лидеры энергетического рынка Балканского региона. С участием РЖД хорошими темпами идёт реконструкция и модернизация сербской железнодорожной инфраструктуры.

Последовательно совершенствуется договорно-правовая база взаимодействия. Развиваются контакты по линии парламентов и политических партий, общественных кругов, а также в сфере науки, образования и культуры. Российские специалисты участвуют в проекте возведения храма Святого Саввы в Белграде. Благодаря спонсорской поддержке наших предпринимателей главный купол этого величественного здания украшен мозаичной отделкой. Словом, убеждён, что именно такое плодотворное, многоплановое сотрудничество в полной мере отвечает коренным интересам народов России и Сербии.

Что касается «Турецкого потока», то его строительство осуществляется по намеченному графику. В ноябре прошлого года завершена укладка труб на морском участке, ведутся работы по его подключению к строящемуся терминалу на черноморском побережье Турции. Планируем полностью ввести газопровод в строй до конца 2019 года.

Отмечу, что сейчас «Газпром» прорабатывает разные варианты продолжения сухопутной транзитной нитки газопровода в европейском направлении. Один из них предусматривает транспортировку топлива по маршруту Болгария – Сербия – Венгрия с выходом на газораспределительный центр в австрийском Баумгартене. В этом случае Сербия будет не только использовать российский газ, но и обеспечивать его транзит. Разумеется, это принесёт ощутимую выгоду сербской экономике, позволит создать новые рабочие места, укрепит энергобезопасность вашей страны и в целом Центральной и Юго-Восточной Европы. Участию Сербии в проекте будет способствовать и подписанная в 2017 году с «Газпромом» «дорожная карта» модернизации и расширения национальной газотранспортной сети.

При окончательном утверждении маршрута поставок российского газа будет, конечно же, учитываться позиция Еврокомиссии. Мы полагаем, что заинтересованные в российском газе страны – члены ЕС должны получить от Евросоюза гарантии, что планы продолжения «Турецкого потока» не будут сорваны произвольным политическим решением Брюсселя.

Вопрос: В обстановке, когда отдельные государства региона вооружаются и происходит формирование так называемой армии Косово, может ли Сербия рассчитывать на поддержку России в дальнейшем укреплении оборонного потенциала, имея в виду нашу нейтральность и тот факт, что мы окружены государствами – членами НАТО?

В.Путин: Высоко оцениваем твёрдую приверженность сербского руководства курсу на сохранение нейтралитета страны. В то же время на протяжении многих лет мы помогаем укреплять обороноспособность Сербии: поставляем вооружения и военную технику, оказываем содействие в их ремонте и модернизации. Будем и дальше развивать военно-техническое сотрудничество.

Не скрою, что были удивлены достаточно пассивной реакцией Евросоюза на решение косовского «парламента» о трансформации Сил безопасности Косово в полноценную армию. Ведь очевидно, что подобный шаг воспринят проживающими в этой провинции сербами как прямая угроза их безопасности. И в целом он чреват серьёзными рисками обострения обстановки в регионе. Едва ли в интересах ЕС закрывать глаза на подобные односторонние акции, грубо нарушающие международное право, особенно если в Брюсселе рассчитывают и в дальнейшем выполнять свои посреднические обязанности в диалоге между Белградом и Приштиной.

Мы также неоднократно заявляли, что считаем курс на расширение НАТО пережитком «холодной войны», ошибочной и деструктивной военно-политической стратегией. Сегодня альянс пытается укрепить своё присутствие на Балканах. Однако тем самым он лишь воссоздаёт разделительные линии на европейском континенте, грубо нарушает принцип неделимости безопасности. Всё это в конечном счёте ведёт не к укреплению стабильности, а к снижению доверия и росту напряжённости в Европе.

Вопрос: Москва уже давно выступает с предложением создать новую архитектуру безопасности, но в последнее время мы наблюдаем в мире опасные тенденции, включая недавние заявления Вашингтона о выходе из ДРСМД. Как Вы считаете, что может быть решением для сохранения мира в условиях усиления локального и глобального напряжения?

В.Путин: Действительно, США фактически ведут линию на демонтаж системы международных соглашений в сфере контроля над вооружениями, которые связывают им руки в наращивании военного потенциала. Или пытаются выполнять их выборочно, то есть только в той части, которая отвечает их интересам. Заявление о намерении выйти из ДРСМД стало ещё одним звеном в длинной цепочке подобных действий. Очевидно, что последствия такой политики будут самыми негативными.

Разумеется, мы не собираемся закрывать глаза на развёртывание американских ракет, которые представляют прямую угрозу для нашей безопасности. Вынуждены будем принимать эффективные ответные меры. Однако Россия, как ответственная и здравомыслящая страна, не заинтересована в новой гонке вооружений. Несмотря на объявленное США намерение выйти из Договора, мы открыты для продолжения диалога по поиску путей его сохранения. В декабре направили американцам ряд конкретных предложений на этот счёт. Готовы к серьёзному разговору и по всей стратегической повестке между нашими странами.

Россия твёрдо и последовательно выступает за оздоровление международной обстановки в целом, которая, как Вы справедливо отметили, остаётся напряжённой. И добавлю – непредсказуемой. Причём во многом такое положение и сложилось из-за непрекращающихся односторонних, в том числе силовых действий США и ряда других западных государств. В результате усиливается общая атмосфера конфронтационности и недоверия.

Призываем западных коллег отказаться от методов шантажа, угроз и провокаций, уважать международное право, выстраивать межгосударственный диалог на принципах, зафиксированных в Уставе ООН. Именно в этом – ключ к сохранению мира, укреплению глобальной и региональной безопасности и стабильности.

В заключение хочу пожелать читателям газеты «Политика» и всему народу Сербии благополучия и успехов.

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Газета «Вечерние новости»

Вопрос: Интенсивное сотрудничество России с Сербией и Республикой Сербской вызывает раздражение на Западе, и особенно в Вашингтоне. Как Вы прокомментируете заявления западных политиков о том, что Россия является дестабилизирующим фактором на Балканах, и как Вы оцениваете отношения России с другими бывшими югославскими республиками?

В.Путин: Рад возможности обратиться к читателям «Вечерних новостей» – одной из самых популярных и влиятельных сербских газет, ответить на ваши вопросы и поделиться своими оценками.

Если говорить о ситуации на Балканах, то серьёзным дестабилизирующим фактором здесь является линия США и некоторых западных стран, направленная на закрепление своего доминирования в регионе. Ещё в 1999 году силы НАТО – без санкции ООН – в течение двух с половиной месяцев бомбили Югославию, насильственно отторгнув Автономный край Косово. А в 2008 году Вашингтон и его союзники поддержали нелегитимное провозглашение косовской независимости.

В 2017 году, вопреки мнению половины населения, в НАТО оказалась втянута Черногория. Референдум по этому вопросу проводить побоялись – в итоге страна переживает период политической нестабильности. В прошлом году для форсированного включения в состав НАТО Республики Македонии был даже запущен процесс принятия конституционных поправок и переименования этого государства, пересмотра основ македонской национальной идентичности. При этом проигнорирована воля македонских избирателей – референдум по изменению государственного наименования провалился, но давление извне продолжилось.

Наша страна, зная, понимая всю сложность Балкан, истории региона, всегда рассматривала его как пространство для конструктивного сотрудничества. И сегодня у России здесь много друзей, среди которых особое место занимает стратегический партнёр Сербия. Поэтому наш безусловный приоритет – это содействие укреплению региональной безопасности и стабильности. Мы выступаем за то, чтобы права и интересы балканских стран и народов уважались, чтобы соблюдалось международное право.

Взаимодействие с Республикой Сербской в составе Боснии и Герцеговины осуществляется на взаимовыгодной основе в строгом соответствии с Дейтонским мирным соглашением 1995 года. Мы и далее нацелены на реализацию как в Республике Сербской, так и на всей территории Боснии и Герцеговины проектов в энергетике, нефтепереработке и торговле горючим, банковской сфере, фармацевтике и других отраслях. В равной степени важным считаем продвижение совместных гуманитарных инициатив, учитывая растущий интерес боснийцев к русскому языку, российской культуре, получению образования в России.

Поступательно развиваются отношения со Словенией и Хорватией, несмотря на то, что диалог между Евросоюзом, членами которого они являются, и Россией переживает непростые времена. В прошлом году состоялось несколько встреч с хорватским руководством. Растёт товарооборот: со Словенией за три квартала 2018 года он повысился почти на 10 процентов, с Хорватией – на 27 процентов. В прошедшем году со Словенией успешно проведены «перекрёстные» Сезоны культуры, в Загребе организована крупная выставка Государственного Эрмитажа, приуроченная к 50-летию побратимских связей хорватской столицы с Санкт-Петербургом. Будем и дальше развивать отношения дружбы и доверия, которые, уверен, полностью отвечают интересам наших народов.

Вопрос: Сербская православная церковь встала на сторону Русской православной церкви на фоне церковного кризиса на Украине. При этом целый ряд стран оказывает влияние на патриарха Варфоломея и пытается добиться признания украинских «раскольников» православными поместными церквями. Что Вы думаете относительно дальнейшего развития событий?

В.Путин: Напомню читателям Вашей газеты, которые весьма обеспокоены сообщениями о расколе православного мира, но, возможно, не посвящены глубоко в ситуацию на Украине, о чём идёт речь.

15 декабря 2018 года украинское руководство, которое активно поддерживают США и Константинопольский патриархат, провело так называемый объединительный собор. На нём было провозглашено создание «Православной церкви Украины», и 6 января 2019 года патриарх Варфоломей подписал томос (указ) о её автокефалии. Таким образом, была сделана попытка легализовать под юрисдикцией Стамбула существующие на Украине раскольнические общины, что является грубым нарушением православных канонов.

Впрочем, это мало кого волнует и в руководстве Украины, и в США, поскольку новая церковная структура является исключительно политическим, светским проектом. Его главная цель – разделить народы России и Украины, посеять не только национальную, но религиозную рознь. Неслучайно в Киеве уже заявили об «окончательном обретении независимости от Москвы».

Повторю: ни о какой духовной жизни речь здесь не идёт – мы имеем дело с опасным и безответственным политиканством. Так же как нет речи и о самостоятельности «Православной церкви Украины». На деле она полностью подконтрольна Стамбулу. А вот крупнейшая на Украине каноническая Украинская православная церковь, которая за автокефалией к патриарху Варфоломею не обращалась, абсолютно независима в своих действиях. При этом она сохраняет исключительно каноническую связь с Русской православной церковью, но даже это вызывает нескрываемое раздражение у сегодняшнего киевского режима.

За это священников и мирян Украинской православной церкви преследуют, отбирают у них храмы и монастыри, а саму церковь пытаются лишить её законного наименования, что усиливает напряжённость и ведёт к ещё большему раздору в украинском обществе.

Очевидно, что руководство Украины не может не понимать, что попытки насильно загнать верующих в чужой храм чреваты серьёзными последствиями. И тем не менее оно готово жертвовать межконфессиональным согласием в стране ради того, чтобы провести предвыборную кампанию действующего президента Украины, построенную на поиске врагов, любыми путями сохранить власть.

Всё это видят в православном мире.

Разумеется, Россия не намерена вмешиваться в церковные процессы, тем более на территории соседнего суверенного государства. Но мы видим, какую опасность, в том числе и для мирового православия, представляют подобные эксперименты и грубое вмешательство государства в религиозную деятельность.

Вопрос: Перспективы экономического сотрудничества Москвы и Белграда в случае вступления Сербии в Евросоюз. Как это может отразиться на российских инвестициях в сербскую экономику?

В.Путин: Мы с уважением относимся к избранному сербским руководством курсу на вступление в ЕС. В отличие от западных партнёров не пытаемся ставить Белград перед искусственным выбором – либо вы с Россией, либо с Евросоюзом. Интеграционные процессы в нашем глобальном мире динамично развиваются, охватывают новые страны и объединения, создают перспективные конфигурации. Поэтому убеждены, что евроинтеграционные устремления Сербии, как и участие России в Евразийском экономическом союзе, не служат препятствием для наращивания нашего разнопланового сотрудничества.

Важно, что Россия и Сербия намерены продолжать укреплять взаимодействие в экономической и инвестиционной сферах. Этому призвано способствовать и готовящееся соглашение о свободной торговле между ЕврАзЭС и Сербией. Очередной раунд переговоров прошёл в Белграде совсем недавно – 10–11 января. Рассчитываем, что подписание этого документа состоится до конца текущего года и откроет качественно новые возможности для повышения эффективности и практической отдачи от совместной работы в экономической области.

В заключение хочу пожелать читателям газеты «Вечерние новости», всем гражданам дружественной Сербии мира и благополучия.

Yearly Live Question and Answer Session was a Mega-DOX of Name and Shame

June 08, 2018, Somehwere in the North of the Russian Federation

Путин ввел новый механизм влияния на чиновников

За почти 300 минут прямой линии Владимир Путин ответил на множество самых разных вопросов – от бытовых до концептуальных. Но впервые за все время проведения линии форма стала едва ли не важнее содержания – потому что новый формат ее проведения обозначил важный механизм реформирования управленческого класса.

На 16-ю прямую линию Владимир Путин пришел не один – в формате видеоконференции в ней приняла участие вся высшая номенклатура исполнительной власти. Были вице-премьеры и министры, губернаторы и главы госкорпораций. Перед началом разговора нам мельком показали мониторы с несколькими десятками «окон» – с дежурившими губернаторами и министрами.

Все годы проведения прямой линии продолжались сетования на то, что вот, президент в ручном режиме управляет страной, решает проблемы регионального, а то и местного уровня. Это были не совсем справедливые упреки – потому что одним из главных смыслов ее проведения как раз и было обучение руководителей разных уровней общению с народом, реакции на требования и претензии. Министры и губернаторы должны были увидеть, как нужно разговаривать с людьми. Искать способы решения, брать на себя ответственность или находить тех, кто сделает, объяснять причины уже принятых решений или невозможность осуществления того, что предлагают.

Этим Путин занимался почти два десятилетия – не в эфире, а в жизни руководителя страны. Но и в эфире «Прямой линии» тоже.

И вот теперь он решил объединить два формата – свои совещания с министрами и губернаторами и ответы на вопросы в ходе прямой линии. Получилось более чем поучительно и интересно.

Почему это произошло только сейчас? Потому что завершился важный этап обновления элиты – она еще далеко не та, какой хотелось бы народу и Путину, но уже вполне способна отвечать за сказанное и сделанное. Обновление губернаторского и управленческого корпуса шло все последние годы – и сейчас уже мало даже тех, кто был губернатором в нулевые годы.

При этом понятно, что и для опытных, и для новичков подобный формат общения непривычен. Одно дело – докладывать президенту на совещаниях или общаться с ним один на один, и совсем другое – отвечать на вопросы в прямом эфире на всю страну. Путин умеет публично объяснять свою позицию. Но обычным чиновникам, даже высокопоставленным, это часто делать нелегко – или они просто этого не умеют. Но требование слушать людей, разговаривать с ними, осмысленно отвечать на их претензии все эти годы было одной из главных установок, что Кремль давал всем уровням номенклатуры.

А теперь, с появлением нового формата прямой линии, риск показать свою некомпетентность или, что еще хуже, оторванность от народа вырос многократно – ведь говорить с людьми придется на глазах президента и с его участием. А Путин обладает очень хорошим чувством фальши – и больше всего на свете не любит, когда ему врут. А уж когда врут прилюдно...

Поэтому неслучайно, что с самого начала линии Путин несколько раз сказал о необходимости повышения персональной ответственности чиновников. Он, по сути, обращался не к телеаудитории, а к тем, кто был на конференц-связи с его «ставкой» в Гостином ряду:

Причем это двойная ответственность – перед людьми и перед президентом. Да, выбирают губернатора люди – но снимает его с должности, в случае утраты доверия, глава государства. Однако чтобы заслужить доверие Путина, глава региона должен не подобострастно поддакивать ему, не обещать все исполнить – а реально работать с людьми. И уважать их, видеть в каждом маленьком человеке конкретного индивидуума. Поэтому Путина, всегда подчеркнуто вежливого в разговоре с людьми, так покоробило слово «ней» из уст томского губернатора, пообещавшего встретиться с матерью троих детей, спрашивавшей про выделение многодетным бесплатной земли. «Не «ней», а с Натальей Николаевной», – поправил его президент.

При этом Путин не играет в популизм – не устраивает показательных порок, не идет на поводу у призывов устроить глобальную чистку. Вообще не демонизирует чиновничество – потому что по опыту работы с ним знает, что оно уже становится другим. Да, медленнее, чем всем хотелось бы, но становится.

Поэтому он и отказывается от популистского же требования репрессий –

«Мы не должны прибегать к крайним мерам, которые были в 30-е и 50-е годы. Нам надо раскрепостить людей, чтобы они максимально реализовали творческий потенциал. Это могут сделать только свободные люди. Мы в состоянии сделать это. Но надо всем сконцентрироваться на своем участке. Знаю, проблем много. Решение их сложно. Но мы сделаем это, если будем вместе».

При этом Путин не преуменьшает стоящие перед страной вызовы – сравнивая ситуацию с теми же 30-ми, он подчеркнул, что хотя прямой угрозы войны нет, но есть угроза самому существованию России:

«Безопасность вроде бы обеспечена, причем на длительную перспективу. У нас огромные территории, подготовленные люди, есть ресурсы. Но если мы отстанем в технологическом развитии, не обеспечим темпы роста экономики, внедрения новых технологий, если не сможем связать страну новыми дорогами, если не будем развивать инфраструктуру, если не будем уделять внимание образованию и здравоохранению, то мы можем отстать безвозвратно. Это поставит под вопрос наш суверенитет».

Вести страну в прорыв Путин будет, опираясь на народ – и тот управленческий класс, который он формирует.

Всероссийское селекторное совещание, летучка с президентом и народом – какое бы название ни осталось от нынешней прямой линии, понятно, что мы увидели новый инструмент управления номенклатурой. Более того – новый инструмент управления страной. Подобные «трехсторонние» совещания теперь наверняка станут традицией – их даже можно проводить чаще, чем раз в год, делая, например, тематическими (образование, ЖКХ) или региональными (в рамках федеральных округов). Вместо очередного совещания по вопросам развития Дальнего Востока или проблемам безработицы на Северном Кавказе можно будет провести прямую линию с президентом Путиным на эти темы. Персональная ответственность чиновников после этого вырастет очень заметно – как и скорость решения многих проблем.

Yearly Live Question and Answer Session with Vladimir Putin

Live Yearly Phone In Taking Place Today at Noon - It is over. 4.5 Hours

Hero of Russia Award to Roman Nikolayevich Filipov Who Died Heroically in Syria

"This is for the guys!", he yelled as he pulled the pin on a grenade taking terrorists with him!

«Это вам за пацанов»: Что успел сказать летчик Су-25 Роман Филиппов перед смертью

February  07, 2018

Владимир Путин посетил Волгоград в юбилей победы в Сталинградской битве

President Putin Censored by US Media, This is What They Cut Out

What NBC cut from Putin Interview от Джон Роблес на Rutube

President Putin Stands in the Rain Honoring the Fallen of the Great Patriotic War


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Сурков предложил назвать новое вооружение РФ "Гиви"

2014 Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly

2014 Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly


2018 Presidential Election Highlights and News. Last Update: 11/19/2023 20:01 -0000

LAST UPDATE RUSSIAN STANDARD TIME:  11/19/2023 20:01 -0000

Сильный Президент - сильная Россия - Official 2018 Campaign Site

President Putin's Election Campaign  Site

Владимир Путин зарегистрирован кандидатом в президенты России

Инаугурация Путина 2018 можно смотрит на Первый канал.. 11.45

Putin to be inaugurated for fourth term

UN Secretary General congratulates Putin on winning presidential election

Congratulations keep coming on Putin’s election win — Kremlin

В адрес Владимира Путина продолжают поступать поздравления с победой на выборах Президента Российской Федерации

Kim Jong-un congratulates Putin on his convincing win at presidential elections

European Commission president congratulates Putin on election win

Prime minister of Malaysia congratulates Putin on winning Russian presidential election

World leaders congratulate Putin on winning re-election

German president congratulates Putin on winning presidential election

CIS leaders congratulate Putin on winning presidential election

Belarusian leader congratulates Putin on convincing victory in presidential election

Venezuelan leader congratulates Putin on winning Russian presidential election

Chinese leader congratulates Putin on re-election

Kazakh leader congratulates Putin on winning presidential election

Cuban leader congratulates Putin on winning presidential election

Serbian president congratulates Putin on winning presidential election

President of Republika Srpska congratulates Putin on winning presidential election

Trump furious over leak of warning to not congratulate Putin

Shock horror! Trump congratulates Putin on election victory and media goes bananas

Kremlin mum on rumors that Trump’s advisers urged him not to congratulate Putin

Kremlin comments on Trump’s failure to congratulate Putin on re-election victory

Global media’s Russia bashing drove voters to rally around Putin, lawmaker says

Kiev barred Russians from voting on Ukrainian soil out of fear, says lower house speaker

Kremlin frets little about ungrounded reports over violations during voting — spokesman

Russian election chief comments on US statement about media employees’ observer status

CEC to announce official election outcome after considering all irregularities complaints

Путин заручился рекордной в истории России поддержкой избирателей

ЦИК России почти закончил подсчет голосов

Results of Russian elections indicate stability of democracy — French National Front

Putin secures victory in first round of Russian presidential election

More Russians voted overseas in 2018 presidential race than in previous elections

Press review: Putin cruises to landslide victory and Russia-UK feud strikes cultural ties

How Russians in Europe voted in 2018 presidential election

No serious cases of disorderly conduct reported at polls, Russian Interior Ministry says

Putin clinches nearly 71% of Moscow’s votes in Russian presidential election

Putin receives 76.66% of votes after 99.84% of ballots counted

Putin garners record amount of votes that tops all recent Russian presidential elections

Putin wins over 92% of vote in first Russian presidential election in Crimea

Election results at five ballot stations in three Russian regions annulled

Voter turnout for Russian presidential election exceeds 67%

Putin leads election in Washington consular district

Over 55 mln Russians vote for Putin in presidential election — election commission

Obsever comments on voting at Russian embassy in Washington

Russian Foreign Ministry points to unprecedented overseas voter turnout

Putin winning over 90% of votes at Russian presidential polls in Crimea and Sevastopol

Russian citizens overseas voted more actively than in 2012

Government reshuffles to follow inauguration — Putin

Putin thanks his supporters for their votes at Sunday’s presidential polls

Putin headed towards landslide victory

Putin leading Russian presidential polls with 73.11% after 30% of ballots counted

Putin leading in Russia’s presidential race with 72.53% after 25% of ballots counted

Voting concludes in Russia with last polling stations closing in Kaliningrad Region

Putin leading in Russia’s presidential race with 71.97% after 21.33% of ballots counted

Provocations recorded during Russian presidential vote in US, ambassador notes

В России завершились выборы президента РФ

Член ЦИК РФ сообщил, что явка на выборах президента РФ будет не менее 59,97%

Собянин: голосование в Москве прошло без существенных нарушений

В России завершились выборы президента РФ

Подведение итогов президентских выборов в РФ. Онлайн

Human rights chief: No violations capable of impacting presidential polls outcome reported

CEC member calls to inform UN chief about Ukraine’s denying access to voting for Russians

Voting at Russian presidential polls in US organized absolutely openly — ambassador

Voter turnout exceeds 59%

Russia’s Interior Ministry says cyber attack against vote counting system thwarted

OSCE PA urges Ukraine’s envoy to ensure Russians’ voting

Voter turnout for Russia’s presidential election reaches 52.97%

Избиратели в Чечне потеряли прежний энтузиазм

International observers confirm no violations at Crimean polls

Явка на выборах в некоторых регионах РФ почти в два раза превышает показатели 2012 года

Russia election under way: Secret of Putin's appeal

Voter turnout in Russia’s presidential election is currently 51.9%

Turnout in Russia’s presidential election in Moscow exceeds 40% as of 15:00

OSCE Tells Ukraine to facilitate the voting of Russians in the Russian Presidential Election

One violation involving fake bulletins in the city of Artyom in the Primorskaya Region

Названа явка в ядерных городах России

Over one-third of Crimeans vote in Russia’s presidential election by noon

Chechen leader says no incidents reported during presidential election

Russian presidential election held without incidents in Syria

Russian election system’s work unaffected by hacker attack

International observers confident presidential election in Crimea will be in line with law

Over 45,000 Russians vote abroad in presidential election

Россияне в седьмой раз выбирают Главу государства

Передвижной театр приехал на избирательный участок в Биробиджане

Россиянка сходила на выборы и умерла

Москалькова отмечает высокую явку на выборах президента РФ

Около 30 тыс. моряков, находящихся в дальнем плавании, проголосовали на выборах президента

На Камчатке и Чукотке закрылись участки для голосования

Reports from all over Russia of extremely high turnout. We recall President Putin is running without a party, a testament to his popularity.

Явка на Дальнем Востоке и в Сибири превысила показатели 2012 года

Voter turnout in Russian presidential polls reaches 16.55%

Russian Central Election Commission repels DDoS attack against its website on election day

Russians not allowed access to vote in Lvov

Россиян не пустили голосовать во Львове

Путин назвал идеальный результат выборов

Путин проголосовал на выборах

В Крыму начались первые в истории выборы президента России

В Москве началось голосование на выборах президента

Over 97,000 ballot stations open for Russian presidential election

Russian citizens denied access to ballot station in embassy in Kiev

International observers from UK, US, Ukraine monitor elections in Crimea

No reports as of 11:00 of irregularities or provocations. Except in Kiev as expected.

Vladimir Putin casts his vote in Russian presidential election

Ballot stations open in Russia's westernmost Kaliningrad Region

Russia’s Far East beats record for highest voter turnout in presidential election

Crimea votes for first time in Russian presidential election

Ballot stations open in all Russian regions except for Kaliningrad

Russian presidential election 2018

Vladimir Putin the ‘Guiding Star’ shines bright in Russian election pop song [Video]

Russian envoy and head of election commission cast their votes in presidential election

Residents of eight Siberian regions start voting in Russian presidential election

Presidential election kicks off in Russia

Polling places open in Russia’s Sakha, Amur and Trans-Baikal Regions

Members of Antarctic station vote in Russian presidential election

Избирателей накормили по-президентски

В Волгоградской области вместе с выборами пройдет референдум о часовом поясе

Избиратели на выборах поборются за iPhone и гироскутер

Russia has paper ballots so there is no Soros voting machine manipulation possible!!


На митинг-концерт «Россия в моем сердце» пришли 60 000 человек


NEW President Putin 2018: A Letter to My So-Called Supporters

February 13, 2018 - Somewhere in the North of the Russian Federation

Dear Brainwashed Westerners, Fake Truthers and Neo-Liberal Russians,

         Let's cut the shit, put all of the niceties aside and get serious here for a minute while I still have a chance to get any kind of a message out! At the beginning of December I started showing support for President Putin on my site and on my social media such as Twitter. I immediately lost almost 20,000 followers and all my financial supporters from around the world who I thought supported my site and the truth. I also wrote articles bashing the so-called opposition based exclusively on facts and we exposed WADA and the OIC for the Anglo Saxon conspiracy that it is.

         The Anglo-Saxon conspiracy that is real and that is going on against Russia and the Russian people and in fact all cultures and language and cultural groups around the world, and make no mistake it seeks to enslave every nation with its New World Order. I have watched for over 20 years and fought and tried to inform the Russian people and people around the world but unfortunately there is no way one poor journalist and teacher can save the world, it is just not possible against the unlimited resources and wealth that they have.

           Here I have a special long withheld set of very harsh words for students of English (or any other foreign language for that matter) but especially English! I have watched as my career and my livelihood was taken away from me and watched as my former students became brainwashed empty husks of their former selves as they embraced and allowed themselves to be brainwashed by Western neo-liberalism, which is subtly promoted in all English language literature and teaching material. I will not to go into too much detail here, but it should be clear to any teacher or educational professional what I am talking about. The subtle, almost subliminal even neuro-cognitive programming that exists in all Cambridge, Oxford, McMillian and other "native" English teaching material, is a very important tool for brainwashing the children and the masses to bend to the will of the globalists and the Illuminati New World Order. However it is not just the material but the people who are pushing it that have caused me to lose my employment and to leave teaching even though I was a brilliant and popular teacher for almost two decades in the town where I used to live, I even had a student who came in second in a world English competition, but then everything became politicized and the attack on Russia began and I was not only not needed but blacklisted and not wanted because I am too anti-American! But regardless let me get to the point because nobody gives a crap about their old teacher and no one will support me because of their brainwashing, so I will tell you how it is and you remember my words. With every new language the brain changes, the passages of speech and even auditory information all mutate and change and developed in order to process the new information! This is exploited and manipulated by the Western programmers to force the student to believe information that may not agree with their real world cognitive experience and to foster a desire to submit to the programmers of their new language. Here is my WARNING for students of English and those who are in English environments: do not confuse learning the language with socio-political programming and do not allow yourself to be re-programmed with information that you know is morally, factually, historically or in any other way simply "wrong". DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THEY CARE ABOUT YOU OR YOUR COUNTRY!!! This I must say because it has become normal and accepted and part of the Anglo Programming to submit to the false and destructive ideology and brain-washing of the New World Order! Neo-Liberal false "values" of homosexuality, pedophilia, bestiality and sexual perversions and mental illnesses of every kind are not okay. Genocide on populations and endless war are  not okay! Destroying and homogenizing cultures and re-writing history are not okay! Palestine is real and destroying it for Khazaris is not okay! London is not the capital of the world and London Bankers controlling the world is not okay! Buying, recruiting, controlling and installing puppet governments around the world is not okay! And with that I end because with that my career and my life and my family were destroyed by the Neoliberal scum who run much of Russia, and that is definitely NOT okay! 

            So let me get back to why I was writing this in the first place and you can see my Russia Report for more of the details on the particular candidates. This is a message for all of you "Westerners" and Neoliberals who are supporting Western puppets and demonizing anyone who is against Putin. First off to all of my American ex-friends, you do not live here in Russia and who Russians choose for their leader is not your God-damned business!!! Am I clear???? Do you understand??? Or is your meddling in Russia's internal processes somehow justified by your belief in your own exceptionalism??? If that is the case see a psychiatrist!!! I am sick and tired of you demonizing Putin and acting like you know anything about Russia!!! You know nothing!!! And who is the President of Russia is not your damned business!!!!! Russia is the largest country in the world and has the right and the responsibility to be a world leader!!! Russian culture is moral and rich and beautiful and the Russian language is as well and have a right to be heard and experienced by all!!! If this were a civilized planet and not the Orientalist Satanic planet of the New World Order!!!

              Yes Russia has problems and I have problems with and have not been protected as I should have been from you and your minions and your CIA and your psychotic globalist leaders, but that is a Russian problem and it is not for you to meddle or decide so stop supporting and trying to install a president in Russia!!!!! In the last few weeks we have seen US support for a two time felon (Navalny) a cheap morally repugnant US copycat puppet girl who call Russians genetic garbage and a mafia boss who keeps billions of stolen dollars offshore and pretends to be a Communist to destroy the Communist Party of the Russian Federation from within. We have seen the slut go to Washington and the United Kingdom making speeches to promote sexual perversion and the breaking up of Russia and Russian Society, we have seen so called diplomats making statements supporting the fake Communist, we have seen nazi groups and others come together under US Color Revolution plans to support the offshore king and we have seen fake human rights mouthpieces come out in support of the two time felon, these are just a few of the small examples of US meddling in Russian elections. Stop meddling in Russian elections and if you are running to Cambridge or listening to Washington as to who the right president is for Russia and you are Russian why don't you go live there and enjoy your LGBTQPBD lifestyle? If you are from the West stop listening to their demonization of President Putin!!!! They demonize him the same way they demonized any leader who made their country strong and who they could not control!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Look at Gaddafi and Chavez!!!!

              Finally why do I support Putin? Unless you are in Russia it is not really your business and yes I have issues with his government one being that I can not even vote and for over 20 years can not get citizenship because of the Neoliberals!!! But that is not a problem with Putin!!! He is against the New World Order!!!!! He shares my "Christian values" and has the moral fiber that everyone in the West has forgotten about!!!! HE is the guarantor of the Russian Constitution and the Russian State and the Russian World and has done an amazing job of pulling Russia up off its knees and from the brink of New World Order destruction that Yeltsin almost brought about!!!! And that is all I am going to say!!! So those of you who have abandoned me only pretended to support the truth!!! To you truth a political whim!!!! Like Satanic pedophilia which you all pretended to be against to get your fake Zionist prostitute into office!! For me truth is truth and it can not be politicized and neither can genocide, pedophilia, aggressive war and nazism. No evil but be allowed to exist because it supports or is supported by your political leader!!!!! 

             I support Putin because he is a good man and I am against Trump because he is a Zionist whore, an elitist, a racist, a divider, a liar, a dangerous war criminal and conman who is a puppet to his Masonic Rothschild Zionist masters and this has directly affected Russia. So for those of you who have abandoned me and my family because I support Putin all I can say is do some research and I hope somehow the truth will get to you, but I seriously doubt it, your Cognitive Dissonance is too strong and you actually believe your so called leaders who are nothing but liars, cheats and manipulators. You are living in a false MOCKINGBIRD reality and you  have turned your back on one of the few people left in the world who will tell you the truth in order to defend they lies they are programming you with. I have tried to bring you the truth and you have all rejected it. SO go one with you and LEAVE RUSSIA AND PRESIDENT PUTIN ALONE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   

 On the left is you with your New World Order on the right is Russia and what Russia will become!!!! Good bye!!!!!



P.S. I can not tell you all how sad I am that you have behaved this way towards me and my family. I counted on your support but your racism and your Putin phobia have proven that I was wrong in believing in any of you! Sure there are about 2 of you who this is not directed at but the rest of you are really the shits. I can see by the interest in my book about Ukraine that nobody wants the truth! Good bye!!!! And leave Putin alone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



President Putin 2018: Fighting for Russia, World Peace and Against the NWO

January 31, 2018, Somehwere in the North of the Russian Federation

Владимир Путин


The unbelievably massive level and all encompassing campaign of Western Intelligence directed, orchestrated and choreographed disinformation and demonization operations currently going on against Russia, the Russian people, the Russian World and President Vladimir Putin are unprecedented in their breadth, scope,  cynicism, insidiousness and outright viciousness, entirely and wholly attributable to the modern day reality that the Western media, once the check and balance, has been completely taken over by the Military Industrial Intelligence Surveillance Complex, and what the psychotic genocidal lunatics running it, who think of war as a business opportunity are doing, is pushing for World War III with Russia! 

I read a lot every day, dozens of articles, hundreds of news items and the like and keep on top of world events as you can see by my site, and I can honestly say there is not one geo-political analyst or Russia watcher or any other "expert" for that matter, anywhere in the world outside of Russia who can comment honestly and knowingly about the situation here in the Russian Federation, and those few that may have been of any worth or promise, are all influenced by their Russophobic programmed bias or the editorial policies of their media outlets.

This reality you would think would make a journalist like me from Russia in demand, yet the Zionist controlled Anglo-Saxon Russophobic world media is not interested in the truth about Russia and they definitely do not want to hear anything good, or reasonable or honest about President Putin, and of course my clear Pro-Russia, Pro-Palestinian and Anti-US/NATO/NWO Imperialist position makes me unpublishable! Which leads me to another point that is just one of many horrific aspects of the disingenuous nature of the modern day MOCKINGBIRD CIA/Zionist controlled mass media, namely that the audience has now been programmed to only listen to someone they are told to listen to or who has been deemed by the MOCKINGBIRD controllers to have an opinion worthy of paying attention to. These "approved voices" even include individuals who appear to be anti-establishment, Anti-Zionist, Pro-Russia or independent but are all either Gatekeepers or parts of Limited Hangout Operations, such as outlets like the Intercept, WikiLeaks, Info Wars and others.

So where can one go for honest and impartial information about President Putin or Russia? I could toot my own horn and say visit JAR2 but I too am biased as I am Pro-Russian and Pro-Putin. That said it is important to underline that I will tell you this straight up and openly and have made a special point of commenting on these issues for the simple reason that in today's world it has very unfortunately become just as important to know who is saying something as it is what is being said and perhaps even more so. This is unfortunate because people are conditioned to believe only certain journalists who fit a certain profile and in todays paradigm that means only white and Pro-American. I am neither. 

Upcoming Elections

I will not pollute this page with the likes of some of the other so-called candidates, for that please see the Russia Report Edition 2, however I can say that there are absolutely no candidates (except Vladimir Zhirinovsky) who come anywhere near the caliber of President Putin, and the so-called "opposition" is nothing but a mockery.

Presidential race narrows down to eight candidates during registration stage

This is a shame because there are real and varied parties in Russia unlike the fake two party, oligarchy of the United States, and it would have been great to watch real debates from challengers with fresh ideas and plans for the country. However there is nothing new, different, exciting or even interesting, and as we have seen with the Western puppet put forward by the so-called Communist Party, the opposition, as I said, is a mockery. Except for Vladimir Zhirinovsky of course.

If you have not been paying attention or if you do not know Russian, as this will be nowhere in the Western MSM, the main "so-called" opponent to President Putin, the completely fraudulent Alexey Navalny, was hand-picked by the Council of Foreign Relations Globalist New World Order Cabal, years ago, and was recruited by the CIA at Yale and backed by Maurice Greenberg, the patriarch of the Greenberg clan (which gave us Edward Snowden). Greenberg is the owner of the WTC floors where the explosives were planted for the plane impact simulations and this is very important because as one of the architects he was responsible for protecting the 911 cash flows and was a proponent and supporter of Navalny as a Russian NWO puppet president. So you see the US and the CIA have been interfering and meddling in Russian elections since the '90s and it was even admitted that the CIA placed Yeltsin in power.

In any other country Navalny would be imprisoned or face a firing squad for treason. Let me tell you why and why he is not even eligible to run and knows it. He has admitted that his economic plan for the country comes from foreign "banksters", his ties to the CIA are clear and documented (even his pseudonym "Agent Freedom" is common knowledge), he has Latvian citizenship (which disqualifies him from running), he has two felony convictions, he has organized riots and mass unrest and he receives funding from a foreign government and foreign bodies, this has also been documented and proven! Foreign sponsorship and financing, felony convictions and foreign citizenship all disqualify him from running for president. So why does the West support him? Because his mission is to destabilize the situation in the country and discredit and delegitimize the Russian Government.

Navalny receives funding from the State Department and has never even had a real job. He is another fake like everything else the West seems to be producing, as he is called a lawyer, which he is not. He is not even a paralegal! He has been called a "blogger" which he is not, other than using social media to manipulate the masses and harm children he does nothing that could be called blogging or journalism. Please see my Russia Report for more on this but before I move on, if you are still doubtful ask yourself; would such a person last long in the US, or any other country for that matter? Would targeting minors to come to demonstrations be tolerated anywhere else? The reality about Navalny is that he has almost no support among voters but in order to try to keep his crowd numbers up so he can continue getting CIA black money and State Department grants, he has been targetting school children who are too ignorant of poltics to know better and believe him, to come to his rallies to inflate the crowds. So you see he is even lying and defrauding his Western paymasters which may end up with him on a bridge with a model if he keeps it up, as the CIA did to Nemtsov. 

With regard to this meddling I mentioned above let me underline one point that you may not be fully aware of when it comes to US Geopolitics and what I call the "lunatics" who are running US Foreign Policy. To understand better what the US Government is doing becomes clearer when you realize three very important facts, one is that there is no longer anything resembling Democracy in the USA and the US has been taken over by the Rothschild Criminal Cabal. Two is that the lunatics in power care absolutely nothing about the peoples of the world or about the people of the US and will support and promote and even arm and provide military support for any group that will advance their own interests and US Imperial ambitions be it outright nazis or head-chopping Wahhabi lunatics. The third point is the simplest to witness and understand, the US always blames other countries and leaders of doing exactly what they are doing or what they have orchestrated and they always repeat the same operations and tactics, which is why the US Ops in Russia in 2018 look very much like those of the 1980s. Again they are demonizing Stalin, promoting propaganda that everything is terrible, blaming the government and like Afghanistan have tried to pull Russia into what they want to be an endless armed conflict in Ukraine. All of these things are attempts to influence and bring Russia to its knees and under Rothschild control something which has been going on intensely for almost four years now.

Russia is under attack on every front: economically, socially, in the media, though international bodies and on the Internet and this meddling in the internal affairs of Russia, is again doing exactly what they blame Russia for. They want to destroy and divide Russia and make her weak.

Fighting the Western False Narrative and the Endless Russophobic Demonization

I am still trying to reach some people in the West with the truth even though it has come to the point where the Cognitive Dissonance in the Western mind is so strong that it is all but impossible to open anyone's eyes, especially about President Putin. I have watched my Twitter account lose over 10,000 followers since I started supporting Putin in the run up to the elections and the reaction has grown worse after placing the banner at the top of this page on my Twitter account. I am reminded of my own flesh and blood brother who is so brainwashed he thinks he is not a Taino Indian but rather a Jew and who refused to talk to me and blocked me when I told him some of the good things President Putin has done. This is just an example of what we are up against and what Putin and Russia have been up against!

 The Voice of Russia World Service was the most effective tool that Russia had to counter the false Western narrative, but the CIA were successful in getting it liquidated and now RT and the other outlets are completely and openly muzzled worldwide. So it is almost impossible to find any real information about Russia. This is compounded by the direct targeting of journalists, like myself, who would dare to speak out on the side of Putin or Russia. As I have seen by my supporters all abandoning me since I have started to support Putin more vocally in the run up to elections. If you are reading this then you are one of the few who actually seek out the truth and I thank you, or you are one of the Intel bastards who needs to silence the truth.

The western media and the western press have demonized Russia and President Putin to such an unbelievable extent that no matter what anyone says most people do not even listen, which is dangerous and quite tragic! Regardless, if you are reading this then you are probably looking for another point of view and the truth about President Putin and it is for you I am writing.

With regard to this demonization I would like to say from a personal level that I am truly disappointed and in fact degusted by people who I thought were my supporters but since I started more actively showing my support for Putin, they have all turned their backs on me. Like my own brother did, after not speaking to him for 24 years we got into an argument over Putin, whom he called every name in the book and then he blocked me on Facebook. The same thing with a supporter I had in Vermont, who wanted me to write that Putin was responsible for terrorist acts like the US does, when it is actually the CIA running almost all of the terrorists in the world. I think it is disgusting the level of double standards here. We are supposed to be tolerant and patient and listen to them and not insult the Zionist Rothschild whore that is Trump, which I have not done until very recently, yet as soon as we say anything good about Putin we are immediately Kremlin Agents and Propagandists and we are being forced to say what we are saying or he will have us killed and we are being terrorized into supporting him. The reality is that it is the Neo-Liberal Zionist American lovers in Russia who are trying to force people to accept and consent to their puppets. It is the Neo-Liberal Zionist scum who have destroyed my family, not a single Putin supporter among them. Having said that let me get back to the article. I just want you to know and be clear in the understanding that you are being lied to by your media! One more thing, just look at it this way, if Putin were not against the New World Order, like Poroshenko a known terrorist nazi, they would never say anything bad about him now would they? 

President Putin and Why He Should be Supported by Good People Everywhere

President Putin's slogan: "A Strong President - A Strong Russia" defines exactly why the "West" demonizes Putin and Russia so much, in the same way and for the same reason that Muammar Gaddafi, Hugo Chavez, Bashar al-Assad, Kim Jong-un and Saddam Hussein (to mention a few) were and are being demonized. They want destroyed, weak and unstable countries who are easy to control and are subservient and where they can establish bases and Central Banks and use as vassals and colonies and rape the resources. Russia will never be a US/NWO vassal no matter how many billions or trillions they spend on operations and President Putin is the current guarantor that this will not happen. For this reason alone, he is worthy of all of our support, for there are few in the world today who will stand up to the Luciferian New World Order.

Continued after a three day break.....

If you have been waiting for this I am sorry, I have been busy trying to promote my second book and I am also very filled with trepidation as I am fully and totally aware more than most people as to the importance of the upcoming elections in Russia.

I mentioned the New World Order in the paragraph above and that is the crux of the situation and the fight we are engaged in. I must and have to believe in President Putin otherwise the world and the future of humanity are done and gone forever. If you doubt or do not know about the Illuminati and the Luciferian New World Order they are trying to create please see my research on the subject or do your own.

President Putin saved Russia from complete and total disaster and disintegration and those of us who remember the last dark days of Boris Yeltsin recall and understand this very very well. Those who know the plans of Brezhinsky and the like know about the plans to divide Russia up into 68 autonomous and independent regions, thus breaking up the Russian Federation into a geographically joined grouping of independent micro-states. 

Since that day Russia has continued to be attacked and the attacks have only grown worse by the day, yet Putin has managed to keep the country together and even advance the countries standing and condition, all the while dealing with internal and external enemies.

Internally I believe that President Putin still wants to fulfill his original plans for the Russian people, a plan that was pushed to the side by corrupt officials and the oligarchy and then the all out attack on Russia beginning with the 2014 Olympics and continuing to this day.

President Putin did not want an arms race with the West but he rose to it and the military has been modernized and upgraded. Infrastructure in Russia has improved 500% since the 1990s as have industrial output and agricultural and other forms of production, despite the corruption of the oligarchs who continue to fight innovation and refuse to invest in the future of Russia, preferring to enrich only themselves.

This corruption is the biggest obstacle facing President Putin, the Russian Security Services and the Russian people. It is a real and present danger that people see every single day and which western tools like Navalny try to exploit as they themselves seek to profit off the backs of the people. However President Putin has made great strides in dealing with this evil.

The flight of capital and returning stolen trillions has also been a major obstacle for President Putin but he has done everything possible to correct these problems, and has sincerely fought and won against the criminal oligarchy that was raping the country in the 90s and whose remnants continue their dirty deeds of undermining and attempting to sell out the country even today.

I could continue as there is so much more I could talk about regarding the internal social political situation is Russia, and I am sure I have more of a deeper and actually realistic understanding of all of the subtleties after living here for 25 years, but I will stop there as Russia is literally under attack and we are in a state of war, an undeclared war being fought on every front against Russia. Not only through the sanctions, the aggressive NATO surrounding of Russia and the internal CIA plants fighting to try to enter the office of president but also on a daily basis in the media and through economic and trade policies that affect the common people.

Russia is a deeply nuanced country and I am truly certain that no other leader, and certainly no idiot CIA plant like Navalny or Sobchak, could handle the country and keep it together. President Putin has managed to join and hold together multiple nationalities, religions and every social class and grouping you can think of and has managed to keep the country more or less morally and ethically clean from a non-New World Order, Satanic morality perspective, meaning he has not allowed the LGBTQPBD agenda of the New World Order to poison the minds of the Russian people, although they are constantly attempting to advance their Satanic Agenda in Russia.

In this regard President Putin holds real Christian values, which confuses white American racists, who think that Christian values means committing genocide and white supremacy. Putin hold REAL Christians values, not those of sinning Catholics and Evangelicals who seek to use religion to impose their will on others and commit every kind of sin from sodomy to greed only to go to church on Sunday when they pretend to be Christians. I suppose only Orthdox Christians know what real Christian values are.

Putin's Separation from Edinaya Rossiya

Something nobody in the West knows about is that President Putin is running this year without a party. This is a testament to the genuine love and respect the Russian people have for him. Something that the Western media will never understand or be able to create with their CIA MOCKINGBIRD operations and fake news and phony photo ops.

As I touched upon above President Putin had a plan, it was called "Plan Putin" or "Putin's Plan" when he first came to power, and this included dozens of steps to improve the socio-economic, political, educational and all other spheres effecting the lives of everyday Russians.

Due to the culture of corruption, and I am certain this is why President Putin left the Edinaya Rossiya Party, almost none of the steps carefully laid out by the President were ever carried out. Instead corrupt and self-serving party functionaries only used their positions to enrich themselves and make life better for themselves and their cronies and friends. Sure there were some improvements but the broad program of President Putin was never actually carried out, especially in the area of citizens rights and the rights of the less fortunate. However all Russians know that without Putin things would have gotten much much worse. 

Putin very carefully stated his over all plan for the next six years in a recent televised event and since this is mainly for a non-Russian audience I will summarize it for you without getting to much into the smaller endemic aspects that would take too long to explain and which would no doubt bore you. Most of you reading this will be no doubt more interested in President Putin's external policies and his plans at the international level which I will get into next.

Basically the plan is to build an advancing, growing and developing Russia that will keep moving forward of its own inertia no matter what forces try to stop it. I was saddened to hear this as to me it seemed that he was saying that in six years he will be gone and he wants Russia to continue advancing even without him. I may be wrong but that was the impression I got.

International Affairs

Russia is being attacked and demonized on ever single possible front you can imagine, and this has been going on at War level since 2014. It is sad and disgusting to the point of making me sick, to think of the Western lunatics who have corrupted and defiled even the idea of the Olympic Games and turned it into a geopolitical tool to weaken and attack Russia. You can read my opinion about the Olympics here:

If you recall in 2014 the West and the Zionists even had Bandar Bush threaten President Putin with terrorists attacks at the Sochi Games and US warships tried to enter the waters of the Black Sea, as if they were in their own territory.

As you have seen this year the Olympics have been turned into some sort of Satanic ritual to insult and demean Russia and in fact show that Russia has no sovereignty. Never in history that I recall has a country been forced to compete without their own flag. This was supposed to provoke President Putin and he surprised the West by saying Russian athletes can go if they want. To be honest he surprised me as well. Hopefully they have some surprise in store for the West. With regard to the Olympics and the doping I just want to say that we have exposed WADA and the IOC for the Intelligence controlled political operations that they are and that the Olympic Spirit of peace screams for the exclusion of the only country in the world today involved in 8 wars and occupying over 150 countries.

Many people have asked me about President Putin and his relationship towards Zionists and Muslims, and here he has also played three dimensional chess, balancing their interests with Russia's interests in a repectful manner.

President Putin will continue to work for peace and mutual relations based on mutual respect and the respect of other countries for the sovereignty of targeted nations like Syria. President Putin does not follow the New World Order Masonic directives or two-faced policies of the Zionists and the New World Order. I believe he made his position on Israel's illegal ambitions perfectly clear in Syria.

 President Putin and Russia have also been supportive allies of Shia Muslim and Shia Muslim countries such as Iran which is under attack by the Zionist Sunni-Wahhabi-US/NATO union.  

President Putin will continue building allianaces and strengthening the BRICS union and seeking a more realisitc multi-polar world, then the New World Order Rohschild owned alternative. 

One of President Putin's chief tasks is ending all foreign debt of Russia, namely the debt that Russia still owes the World Bank. Another in the economic front is moving away from the US petro dollar, along with China and the BRICS. Of course this is what has made him an "bad man" to the Rothschild's demonization and war machine.

President Putin will not allow Russia to lose it strategic nuclear or military strength and will counter NATO is ways NATO will not even comprehend if it continues its aggressive imperial expansion and invasions fo territories and countries (my words). 


The Western sanctions are actually quite funny really because real Russian patriots who are advancing Russian interests do not have foreign bank accounts or engage in foreign travel or have real estate in foreign counries. So the US is actually sanctioning the very tratitors they need to destroy Russia. It is quite a joke really. But the US has their theft and their stealing of Russian property which is all that sanctions are. The legalized theft of wealth.


At D-Day Putin Professional, Poroshenko Bows to the Queen

June 07, 2014

President Vladimir Putin must be applauded, hailed and deeply respected for his statesmanship, his unwavering composure, his respect for protocol, his diplomacy and his iron self-control in maintaining his cool professionalism and business-like demeanor when being forced into what must have been a pressure cooker of historic proportions during the D-Day Celebrations in Normandy.

The leader of the largest country in the world clearly outclassed all of the gathered "royalty" in spite of, or perhaps due to, their united attempt to demonize and portray him as the "bad guy", when in fact the elephant in the room is that they are responsible for unleashing nazis in Europe and continue to attempt to legitimize an illegal coup and forces who are engaged in military operations against civilians.

Thus the gathering of heads of state for the 70th Anniversary D-Day Celebrations had an undercurrent of hypocrisy as leaders who backed an armed nazi coup d’état in Ukraine shook hands and patted each other on the back for a victory over Nazism that their countries only played a small part in while at times appearing to snub the leader of the one country that lost more people than all other countries combined and without whom Nazi Germany and the Third Reich would have conquered Europe.

The Big Lie and Alternative Reality

The alternative reality that they are so shamelessly promoting in the West with regard to Ukraine and Russia’s role in the conflict is so far removed from what is actually taking place that one can only come to the conclusion that the West is in fact channeling Goebbels and his big lie theory.

Thankfully the “celebrations” are over as there is no way that anyone could possibly have envied President Vladimir Putin for the position he was placed in, having to smile and be diplomatic with leaders who are actively engaged in sanctions and a campaign against Russia. It is difficult to stay indifferent especially when mindless propaganda rags like the Daily Mail publish headlines like “Putin the pariah…” and outright lies such as “Russia’s aggression towards Crimea” in their summaries of the events.

President Putin Comments on Poroshenko

The Voice of Russia reported that President Vladimir Putin expressed satisfaction with his meetings with western leaders in Deauville, Normandy: "Our meeting began the way a meeting usually begins - we sat down and began to talk about some of the acutest problems, both some international and bilateral problems. But the main subject was the problem of settling the situation in Ukraine," Putin told reporters.

"I cannot but welcome Mr. Poroshenko's position as to the need to immediately stop bloodshed in eastern Ukraine,"Putin told journalists in Deauville when asked to comment on outcomes of this conversation with Poroshenko on Friday.

"He has his plan on this account, but it's better to ask him, not me, what plan this is. He said in a nutshell about this, but it's one thing to say about this here, in France, and another to say it in his own country," President Putin said.

The Reality About Ukraine

Just in case you have not been informed about what is really happened in Ukraine or if you actually believe the lies that the western media is attempting to paint as reality please allow me to give you a quick rundown of what has transpired.

After stopping a US/NATO invasion of Syria, once again initiated by the US based on fabricated evidence, and holding what were assessed to be the best Winter Olympics in history, the US/NATO/EU activated a long planned operation to take over Ukraine.

Operation Ukraine (as I have labelled it) was decades in the planning and was carried out by the CIA and its front USAID with taxpayer funding and additional funds provided by billionaires George Soros and Pierre Omidyar as well as Exxon and Mobil Oil. Through the use of NGOs and endemic fascist neo nazi groups, in particular the Right Sector and followers of brutal nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, the United States of America was able to activate already existing Color Revolution infrastructure and bring about an armed coup d’état and the ouster of the democratically elected president and government of Ukraine.

US/NATO plans for the installation of first strike military infrastructure directed against Russia in Ukraine were at risk when the elected President of Ukraine Victor Yanukovych was given an ultimatum by the US/NATO/EU to sign an association agreement and effectively cease relations with Russia and he refused.

The evidence shows that US State Department officials at the highest levels with the approval of US President Obama activated Operation Ukraine and chose the lineup of the post-coup government.

The coming to power of radical armed nazi and fascist grouping and armed military formations was not something that the majority of the Ukrainian people supported and the nazi junta’s refusal to listen to the people and their ensuing punitive military operations and pogroms led to the autonomous region of Crimea declaring independence and rejoining Russia as the population refused to live under a fascist junta. The punitive campaign by the junta against all of those opposed to them continued with hundreds being burned alive in Odessa, and dozens of pogroms and countless acts of violence against those opposed to the junta. This led the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions holding referendums on independence with at least 8 other regions being suppressed from doing the same.

Under these conditions the junta held a presidential election in which another oligarch was chosen as President of Ukraine, leaving the Ukrainian people in a worse condition than before the coup.

The elected oligarch Petr Poroshenko, after an election campaign where opponents of the coup were beaten, had their families attacked and threatened, and in the case of outspoken anti-junta candidate Oleg Tsaryov even had their homes burned down and were forced to pull out of the race, before even being inaugurated is guilty of war crimes and violating the Geneva Conventions and the Rome Statutes in his continuing punitive military operations against civilians opposed to the junta in Kiev.

Despite the fact that there have been multiple official requests for a Russian peacekeeping operation to stop the bloodshed and the loss of civilians lives Russia has not intervened militarily in Ukraine but has attempted to facilitate a diplomatic and humanitarian resolution to the crisis.

Russia has now been forced to attempt to deal with the “president elect” as if he was the actual choice of the Ukrainian people, despite the fact that more than half of Ukraine did not even vote in the recent elections.

The Western Version

The West has used what is called DARVO in blaming the entire situation in Ukraine on Russia. (DARVO refers to a reaction that perpetrators of wrong doing, particularly sexual offenders, may display in response to being held accountable for their behavior. The perpetrator or offender may Deny the behavior, Attack the individual doing the confronting, and Reverse the roles of Victim and Offender such that the perpetrator assumes the victim role and turns the true victim into an alleged offender.)

According to the West Russia is an aggressor in Ukraine, there is no humanitarian catastrophe currently taking place as perhaps as many as tens of thousands of refugees flee Ukraine and the punitive military operations directed against entire regions, there is not an illegal military operation being waged against the civilians in the east of Ukraine and the president and the junta are legitimate holders of power.

The West also claims the people of Crimea do not have the right to self- determination because they decided to rejoin Russia. Had they decided to join the EU there is no doubt the legitimacy would be hailed around the world.

A Thousand Words

Having studied photographs and footage of the events at Normandy, because as they say a picture speaks a thousand words, several facts stood out which I feel might be worth mentioning. More than anything and this might fuel conspiracy theories and add fire to those who claim the New World Order is run by London Bankers as well as be an issue for those who claim to be American patriots, was the deference all of those gathered paid to the Queen of England (the person who owns more land than anyone else in the world).

Sure the Queen is a wonderful person and the UK did lose half a million people in WWII, but her central role at the event seemed odd to say the least. Of course no one is allowed to say anything about this but I thought it worth mentioning.

Yes France and the UK and the US all lost approximately 500 thousand men each and these heroes must be remembered but Russia lost what could be more than 28 million and in all fairness it was the Russian leader who should have been the guest of honor. But of course Russia’s “contribution” is always minimized in the West, a fact I have taken issue with many times in the past, and the West has its version of events that must be respected as well, I suppose.

The most stunning photograph for me was one of Poroshenko all but bowing in front of the Queen as he shakes her hand, appearing to have been led to the Queen by Obama, as Obama and all of the heads of state around the Queen looked down or pretended not to notice.

No matter that Poroshenko is engaged in military operations against his own civilians, no matter that he has not even been inaugurated as president, it is clear he is the West’s man in Kiev, and he can do no wrong.

In television footage Poroshenko for his part looked rather uncomfortable during a performance in honor of those who fought and died against nazism, perhaps he was wondering how his Banderavite supporters and Right Sector militias might react back home?

Prince Charles looked overly pleased to see Obama and after his Hitler comments with regard to Russia was completely unapologetic towards President Putin. Prince Charles continuously shot President Putin hard glances as he and his assembled “friends” attempted to stay separate from the Russian leader. I suppose making Hitler references while knowing that the nazis in Ukraine were let loose by your own “friends” might be cause to stay away from the target of your operation.

President Putin behaved in a completely statesman-like manner despite knowing that those amassed around him are bent on surrounding Russia with their missiles and have caused the single largest threat to Russia’s national security in this century.

A President for Peace

We will never know what the leaders actually said to each other but we can be certain that the language was hard and if President Putin is pleased, then we will probably soon see an end to the civil war raging in Ukraine.

While all of the leaders of countries waging war around the world, destabilizing governments and bent on the global expansion of their NATO infrastructure celebrated D-Day President Putin’s quiet dignity and record for fighting for peace and rule of law clearly are what made him stand out.

No amount of demonization or blame will change the fact that Operation Ukraine was a western project and Russia’s security is under attack, as NATO reneges on all deals and continues to expand to the east.

Despite everything President Putin continues to seek a diplomatic solution and continues to attempt to assist the Ukrainian people who are being attacked by their own military. I am certain that without a shot being fired, President Putin will find a solution to the crisis in Ukraine, even though it is not one Russia had any part in bringing about but which Russia is being forced to deal with.

On D-Day Never Forget the Great Patriotic Wars

June 06, 2014

When French President Francois Hollande invited President Vladimir Putin to take part in the 70th Anniversary D-Day Celebrations he stated: "We can have different views. But I didn't forget and will never forget that the Russian people lost millions of lives in World War II." The President of France must be commended for not forgetting, he is obviously one of the few western leaders who has not forgotten the lessons of history and one who is pragmatic and who connection with reality does not change with the perpetual political winds of change.

Against the backdrop of the events in Ukraine, where the West and its agents have unleashed Nazi and fascist forces bent on the destruction of Russians, the "Moskali" and anyone they can demonize as "pro-Russian", watching the West celebrate D-Day while at the same supporting Nazis in Kiev and ignoring war crimes being committed by fascists in Ukraine, one is left with the a sickening feeling and a lingering unease that something is completely and utterly wrong here.

Just yesterday, on the eve of D-Day 8,700 refugees fled the punitive military operations being waged on the populations in eastern Ukraine by the fascist junta who has vowed to clear out the east and found refuge in Russia. Yes, 8,700 women and children and innocent civilians fleeing those who would follow Nazi ideology and who are bent on nothing less than their total and complete annihilation. Their crime? Being in regions that are against the junta in Kiev. According to Pavel Astakhov, the Russian President’s Children’s Rights Ombudsman, some of the refugees recounted how a small boy was shot to death for wearing a St. George’s Ribbon.

The West however has suddenly become blind to Nazis, refugees, war crimes, democracy and the rights of people’s to self-determination, not to mention the UN Charter, the Geneva Conventions and the Rome Statutes. Not even the International Red Cross is admitting that there is a humanitarian disaster taking place in eastern Ukraine.

The US/NATO/EU through its nefarious instruments and organizations and with conscience knowledge of what it was doing brought about an armed coup d’état in Kiev and installed a puppet regime to bring about its geopolitical objectives. That illegal fascist junta has not conducted a mockery of what is being passed for as presidential elections and elected an oligarch sympathetic to their cause who continues to "clear the east" and will fast track Ukraine into allowing NATO to place its war machinery on Russia’s border.

I can try to be politically correct and diplomatic as some of our officials are at times when they refer to these monsters as "partners" and "colleagues" but my readers know that is not my style, and labeling such amoral murderous madmen and hypocrites as such is demeaning to the memory of everyone who died as a result of or fighting the first Nazi scourge. So how dare they celebrate a victory in a war that they only assisted in winning? How dare they blame Russia for unleashing Nazis in Ukraine and destabilizing the country because the people said no to NATO and an EU agreement? How dare they? Dare they may.

The West has completely forgotten the lessons that should have been learned from World War II and as it celebrates the landing at Normandy this is an incredibly sad development. Once again Russia is left to fight a fascist scourge.

The Great Patriotic War

Last February, when US propaganda outlet CNN, desecrated a great monument to the Great Patriotic War I wrote an article which is still being cited today in article written by a writer who is doing her utmost to demonize Russia and President Putin. In it I wrote about the real events of WWII, without the propaganda revisionism that is evident in the western educational system. I would like to share that with you once again because it is more than topical today.

Previous article by Robles: "… the American educational system and the US media promotes myths, institutionally implements omissions and spreads falsehoods about the Great Patriotic War, known in the West as World War II."

"To hide US collusion with the Nazis, even after the war when over 40,000 of them were given refuge in the US, and to glorify their own small effort in the war, Americans and many countries in the West are taught and continue to believe that it was the US and its "allies" that won World War II on the Western Front. Nowhere do American historical textbooks (and if I am wrong and some have been updated please e-mail me) fairly portray the effort of the USSR in winning the war on the Eastern Front. For it was won on the Eastern Front, the West's D-Day was for all intents and purposes a mopping up operation on the Western Front and mere support for the Soviet Forces."

"The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) lost more than 28 million people in their heroic effort to rid the world of the Nazi [sic] scourge and blood flowed all over its territory. In contrast the US lost about 400 thousand which is about how many Italy lost and less than half of what Yugoslavia lost but is still worthy of mentioning, but to say they won the war is an egregious lie and historical revisionism. Of which the US is clearly unapologetically guilty but which follows the endemic US belief that for some reason their lives are worth more than the lives of others. This belief is founded on their own exceptionalism, the genocidal nature of the basis of the "American" state, their endemic racism and their long history of enslavement and exploitation of other peoples."

"… for Americans war is an abstraction, something that happens to others, in faraway lands and to strange and "foreign" people. And this fact can be no more clearer than the American outcry when "American boys" start coming home in body bags or beautifully flag covered coffins. Rarely if ever is there an outcry if some poor Afghan family is droned into oblivion, this on the other hand is seen as normal."

"Americans have never faced and enemy on "their" territory (other than fighting the French, English and Spanish for stolen Indian lands) and they have never seen their cities destroyed, or their neighbors butchered, or their daughters raped, or their people slaughtered. Blood has never flown on their territory as it did in Belarus and Russia and all of Europe and as it is flowing in…"Ukraine.

President Putin attending Ceremonies

President Vladimir Putin will attend a ceremony later today commemorating the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy. On June 3rd in Sochi, ahead of his visit to France, President Putin gave an interview to Radio Europe 1 and the TF1 TV channel. In it the President once again laid out the reality of the situation in Ukraine for the information ally challenged western audiences.

President Putin

President Putin did not call the Right Sector and the fascists who were brought to power Nazis, and like a true statesman he deferred to the organizers as "friends", but what he says must be repeated because in his words lies the truth, and the truth is that Russia has had nothing to do with what has occurred in Ukraine nor with what is happening there today. Russia is faced with an unprecedented attack on its security and a historic campaign of demonization as well as sanctions while once again faced with the task of fighting fascists. I am confident: Russia beat the Nazis once, Russia will beat them again.

"There was a conflict and that conflict arose because the former Ukrainian president refused to sign an association agreement with the EU…. We discussed this with our European partners. Instead of continuing the debates by legitimate and diplomatic means, our European friends and our friends from the United States supported the anti-constitutional armed coup. This is what happened. We did not cause this crisis to happen. We were against this course of events."

"The point is no one should be brought to power through an armed anti-constitutional coup, and this is especially true in post-Soviet space where government institutions are not fully mature. When it happened some people accepted the regime and were happy about it while other people, say, in eastern and southern Ukraine just won’t accept it. And it is vital to talk with the people who didn’t accept this change of power instead of sending tanks, as you said yourself, instead of firing missiles at civilians from the air and bombing non-military targets."

President Putin answered about false claims of Russian troops and advisors: "Proof? Why don’t they show it? The entire world remembers the US Secretary of State demonstrating the evidence of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, waving around some test tube with washing powder in the UN Security Council. Eventually, the US troops invaded Iraq, Saddam Hussein was hanged and later it turned out there had never been any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. You know, it's one thing to say things and another to actually have evidence. I will tell you again: no Russian troops… There are no armed forces, no Russian 'instructors' in southeastern Ukraine and, there never were any."

President Putin also said: that Russia had never "annexed Ukraine"; that the Ukrainian government must now sit down and talk with their own people instead of using weapons, tanks, planes and helicopters; that joining [NATO] would cause a partial loss of sovereignty; that if Ukraine joins NATO, NATO's infrastructure will move directly towards the Russian border, which cannot leave us indifferent; that it is a delusion that Russian troops annexed Crimea; that under Article 1 of the UN Charter the Crimean people held a referendum and that in accordance with the expression of the will of people who live there, Crimea is now part of the Russian Federation and its constituent entity.

On US foreign policy: "Speaking of US policy, it's clear that the United States is pursuing the most aggressive and toughest policy to defend their own interests – at least, this is how the American leaders see it – and they do it persistently. There are basically no Russian troops abroad while US troops are everywhere. There are US military bases everywhere around the world and they are always involved in the fates of other countries even though they are thousands of kilometers away from US borders. So it is ironic that our US partners accuse us of breaching some of these rules."

A good friend of mine Michael John Smith, the last person convicted of spying for the Soviet Union in the World, and someone who is especially outraged by the support by the West of Nazis in Ukraine was kind enough to give his views on the twisting of history by the West when it comes to World War II.

Robles: Given the current situation in Ukraine and the fact that the Nazi junta is currently engaged in punitive military operations against the civilian population in what has been called by the "elected" president Petr Poroshenko an operation to "clear the eastern regions" and the continued demonization of Russia by the West, which is forced to deal with a real threat to its security and its people from western backed fascists, what is your impression of the D-Day celebrations currently under way in Normandy?

Smith: "Throughout the era following the Second World War it has always been presented through the media in the UK that the D-Day landings of June 6th 1944 were the start of the downfall of the Nazi regime. Children are taught at school that without the allied invasion of Normandy then Hitler would not have been defeated."

"Nobody will deny the heroic way in which American, British and other allied troops bravely fought their way off the Normandy beaches and battled against the Nazis as part of the Western Front. But that Western Front was in the planning stage for an awful long time, and those populations in countries occupied by Nazi troops were desperate to see an end to the war, and they had to wait many months for the allied forces to decide when to make their move. Some sceptics at the time even believed that the British and the Americans were waiting for Hitler to defeat the Soviet Union before they would make a move and open up a Western Front!"

"Because the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings is happening at this time, it concentrates our minds on their significance. One point that stands out as a distortion of history is that, whatever the significance of battles on the Western Front, it was really on the Eastern Front where the major part of the Second World War was won. Would any genuine military historian really concentrate all this attention on D-Day, when the facts tell us that millions more were fighting hundreds of miles away on the Eastern Front, and that it was the Soviet Army that defeated Hitler and the scourge of Nazism in Europe?"

"True history is telling what actually happened, and not some fiction that provides Hollywood with such blockbusters as Saving Private Ryan or The Longest Day, but then the USA always glorifies war as a beneficial experience. Perhaps it is considered more patriotic for a US audience to show Americans fighting Germans, when the real bloodbath had occurred among the Russian population facing the Nazi Blitzkrieg."

"What this D-Day celebration should be telling us is that we will never again accept fascist parties running countries around the world. This is something most normal people would support. However, we see those same Nazi style elements emerging and taking over in Ukraine in 2014, and the USA and other western governments praising them as democratic groups that should be encouraged. How dare these western governments lie to us about the true nature of the neo Nazi threat, festering away in modern Europe? Have our leaders, particularly Obama and Cameron, learned nothing from previous wars?"

"Instead of blaming Russia and President Putin for the troubles in Ukraine, the western powers assembled to celebrate D-Day should be turning their attention to promoting world peace and working together to stop a growing civil war in Ukraine. How can world leaders celebrate D-Day, 70 years ago, and yet turn a blind eye to the suffering of innocent civilians today in the heart of Europe?"


The Eastern Front: The Great Patriotic War

Given the record keeping of the day it is difficult to give an exact number of those killed on what is called the "Eastern Front" by the West and the Great Patriotic War by the USSR and Russia, but of the estimated up to 80 million deaths caused by the war between 28 to 40 million of those who perished were Russians and citizens of the USSR who died on the "Eastern Front". The war was fought between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, considered to be the principal belligerent powers.

Although no forces from the United Kingdom or the United States fought on the Eastern Front, they did provide material aid to the USSR in what was called a Lend-Lease Policy yet they failed to meet the specific quotas that had been agreed on. Some say this is due to the secret desire for Nazi Germany to defeat the USSR.

The war waged on for years and when Nazi Germany was almost defeated and the Soviet Union was moving closer to Berlin, the West engaged in a race to Berlin, afraid that Germany would become Soviet Territory. There are many who say that D-Day was very late in coming and that the allies were intentionally holding off to see if Hitler would defeat the USSR, but regardless there were brave men who died there and they did help in ending the war. But the fact is that the battles on the Eastern Front were what constituted the largest military confrontation in history and without which, as many in the US love to say, Europe would be speaking German.

The largest part of the Holocaust took place on the Eastern Front as well, where almost all of the concentration camps and ghettos were located. Almost all of the pogroms, death marches and mass deportations also took place here. The front also saw the most brutal fighting and the largest losses of life due to combat but also because of starvation, exposure, disease, and massacres.

The Great Patriotic War won WWII and resulted in the destruction of the Third Reich and an end to Nazi Germany’s ambition to clear Russia of its people for Lebensraum, in what I would call the Second Holocaust, the elimination of the Slavs. Let us not forget history even as it is being repeated today in what many are now chillingly calling Banderstan, where its government is trying to clear the eastern regions as collective punishment for being against their junta.

How dare the West let Nazis loose in Europe again, in a campaign against Russia! How dare the West blame Russia for anything that has happened in Ukraine when the evidence only shows they are at fault. How dare the West pretend that the Right Sector and Svoboda and the Banderavites under Yarosh are anything other than what they really are, Nazis and fascists. How dare the West claim victory in a war that Russia lost perhaps more than 100 people for every 1 the West lost.

Russia beat the Nazis once, Russia will do so again.

President Putin Signs Law Criminalizing nazi Revisionist Tactics

7 May, 2014 09:40

On Monday May 5, 2014 the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin passed a Russian Federal Law "On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation" aimed at opposing attempts to infringe on historical memory in relation to events that took place during World War II(the Great Patriotic War), according to the Kremlin. This is a clear sign to fascists worldwide.

The passing of the law shortly before the May 9th Victory Day celebrations (a bittersweet day when Russians remember the tens of millions who fell fighting the scourge of nazi Germany and joyfully celebrate the victory of Russia, the Red Army and the USSR over the nazi fascists) and against the backdrop of the events in Ukraine (where the US installed and backed fascist junta has mobilized the army and is employing armed paramilitary nazi Right Sector extremists to engage in what can only be described as a nazi "war of extermination" against those who refuse to be ruled by the degenerate followers of nazi SS stooge Stephan Bandera and grant legitimacy to the junta which violently overthrew the democratically elected government in February) has received a lot of attention worldwide, in particular with nazi glorifiers, white supremacists and Jewish groups.

According to the Kremlin"The new Federal Law makes it a criminal offence to deny facts recognized by the international military tribunal that judged and punished the major war criminals of the European Axis countries, approving the crimes this tribunal judged, and deliberately spreading false information about the Soviet Union's activities during World War II."

The brief summary wording of the law (the full text of which was not accessible at time of writing) has been posted on the Kremlin website and recognizes the findings of the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal and while not explicitly stating such as did a draft of the bill proposed in March of last year, would make Holocaust Denial a crime in the Russian Federation as this comes under "facts recognized by the international military tribunal".

Approving of the crimes the Nuremberg Tribunal judged and deliberately spreading false information about the USSR is not something that happens very often in Russia, but is more exemplified by the current junta in Ukraine including: Turchinov, Yatsenyuk, Tyganbok and the groups that brought them to power such as the Trident, the Right Sector and Svoboda.

These groups not only approve of the nazi crimes against the Jews but also glorify them and attempt to paint them as deeds of heroism. A madness we saw recently in Odessa when "Maidan Defense Forces" and their Right Sector brethren shot people who were trying to escape as they were burning them alive and screamed "Glory to Ukraine" every time someone jumped out of a window to escape the flames.

Events such as these make it clear that such laws are necessary, and although such nazi ideology and glorification are not common in Russia, the danger of extremism, xenophobia and racial hatred is always present in almost any culture.

Russia, which lost more people than any other country during the Great Patriotic War, officially the figure is said to be at approximately 28 million (but there are some studies and estimates that say as many as 40 million due to the chaotic state of record keeping at the time and the fact that many died of disease and related traumas away from the battlefield or were not recorded), is one of the last of the countries to pass such laws in Europe.

Countries in Europe with Holocaust denial laws (many of which participated in the Holocaust themselves) and similar nazi related laws include: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and Switzerland. Israel also has strict laws regarding Holocaust Denial.

Russia did not have such laws in the past for the reason that other laws covering extremism, the outlawing of nazi groups and the like also for the most part covered specific crimes such as public incitement to hatred and the Holocaust Denial and because racial hatred was not a serious problem in Russia. Although some say there has been a trend towards xenophobia in Russia.

The absence of such laws before now may have caused many white supremacists and neo-nazis (not at all bright people to begin with) falsely believe that Russia in some way supported their twisted ideology. A common statement by skin heads and other xenophobes and racists on the white supremacist website Stormfront is that somehow President Putin must be sympathetic to their cause because he is "the white leader of a white country". They obviously recognize that President Putin is a strong, brave and no-nonsense leader and would surely love to have someone so intelligent and powerful on their side, and judging by the number of posts and comments on their site, their hopes have been dashed.

President Putin's position on racism, anti-Semitism, extremism and those who would spread racial and interethnic hatred have been clear from the very beginning and those who mistake his patriotism for Russia, as somehow a nationalist/racist thinking, are sadly mistaken.

White supremacists, anti-Semites, neo-nazis and those who attempt to glorify the horrendous deeds of the Third Reich believe that if they can prove one fact to be wrong, for example about the Holocaust, then they can unravel some huge conspiracy. However these attempts always fail miserably as exemplified by the attempt by Yuri Sergeev, the nazi junta's representative at the UN, whose first move was to deny the validity of the Nuremberg Trials and evidence by the USSR presented against the Banderavites. His crimes of denial, attempted rehabilitation of war criminal Bandera, approval of the horrific acts of the nazis, misrepresentation of the facts and the attempting spreading of lies about the USSR's role in the defeat of the nazi fascists, through the media and using his position in power would make him a prime candidate for prosecution in almost any European country and now in Russia.

The Kremlin: "Criminal penalties are increased if the above-mentioned activities are carried out by individuals using their official position or mass media, or by fabricating proof of accusations."

Statements by Russian officials that those responsible for ordering military operations against civilians will surely have to answer for their crimes, especially to the Ukrainian people, is now backed up by President Putin who has sent a clear message to all extremists and in particular those of the nazi tilt, that they will not find refuge or sympathy in Russia.

The Kremlin: "The Federal Law also makes it a criminal offence to publicly spread information on military and memorial commemorative dates related to Russia's defense that are clearly disrespectful of society, and publicly desecrate symbols of Russia's military glory. The Federal Law sets administrative liability for legal entities that commit these offences."

The last paragraph should clearly be a cause of concern for fascist groups, officials and organizations that are planning to launch events or attempt to blacken the celebrations planned for Victory Day, May 9th .

In summary the recent law passed by the President is necessary to protect society and the honorable memories of all of those who died defeating fascism. It is sad that such a law is necessary but the specter of fascism and historical revisionism has risen its head in Europe and in particular in certain former Soviet Republics and unfortunately Russia has to defend itself again against those who would re-write history and those who would spread fascism. Yet Russia beat the nazis once, and apparently Russia will have to play a decisive role in beating them again.

Once the nazi Bandera coup in Ukraine implodes and collapses as any sick gangrenous cancerous disease is bound to do and the Ukrainian people rise up and begin prosecuting the criminals pretending to be the leaders of the country. They can rest assured that they will find no refuge in Russia. So where can they run?

Well, the answer to that is quite simple; the US. For one the United States is fully 100% supporting nazis in Ukraine, has no laws against Holocaust Denial or historical revisionism, neo-nazis, the KKK and other scum are allowed to stage parades and hold public functions openly and what normal countries would classify as hate speech, whitewashing nazism and approving the Holocaust is allowed in the US. Because when it comes to nazis (and 40,000 thousand found refuge in the US after WWII and many got good jobs in the CIA and new identities) freedom of speech applies. I wonder how Israel feels about all this?

If I do not get chance to talk to you all before Victory Day I would just like to say: Glory to those who beat the nazi scourge, glory to those who stand against fascism today, glory to Mother Russia and the memories of all her fallen children known and unknown who perished so that we would could live. Glory to Russia's great military victories! Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!

Happy Victory Day! Remember the fallen and don't forget what they died fighting against.

Opinion: Putin's Q&A Session was Brilliant, Sincere, Warm and Compassionate

17 April, 2014 19:49

Opinion: Putin's Q&A session was brilliant, sincere, warm and compassionate

The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin conducted his yearly question and answer session with the public and citizens of Russia, this time spending approximately three hours and fifty minutes answering a wide range of questions in an impressive manner never once faltering or at a loss and citing facts, figures and details on everything from assisting a disabled man to obtain a home to the aggressive expansion of NATO to the East. This year the Kremlin added a the possibility of sending in video for those who wanted to ask the president questions, as well as text messages, e-mails, regular post, phone calls and submissions through the Internet.

Those calling up army in Kiev have lost it - President Putin

President Putin once again showed his keen and brilliant mind and his amazing ability to remember what to most of us would be minutiae citing, figures, quotes, dates, historical events and the like with ease. But what was more impressive and what no doubt makes him one of the most popular leaders in history and to the Russian people is his genuine compassion, sincerity the obvious fact that he has vision.


The continuing unrest in Ukraine was the most pressing issue for most of those who contacted the president, including those in the audience, and the president minced no words when expressing his position and thoughts on the issues surrounding the crisis.


With regard to the junta in Kiev President Putin's assessment remains unchanged and he called those occupying positions of power after the armed coup d'état illegitimate. Although he did say that the Russian Government was still in contact, on the ministerial level, which such junta figures as Turchinov and Yatsenyuk.

Yanukovich and Elections

Although President Putin was critical of President Yanukovych's decision to leave Ukraine the President underlined the fact that Yanukovych is still the legitimate and legal president of Ukraine under the Ukrainian Constitution as he had not been impeached, stepped down or passed away.

Given the fact that Ukraine, in legal and constitutional terms, still has an acting president there can be no way that without changes to the Ukrainian Constitution that any rushed elections scheduled to be held in the country can yield results that can be called legitimate.

The president blasted the actions of the Right Sector "activists", and those occupying the Verkhovna Rada who are in collusion with them, for the attacks on those running for the office of President of Ukraine and underlined that under such conditions there can in no way be normal elections.

Mobilization of the Army

Commenting on the fact that the coup forces had mobilized the army against civilians in the east of Ukraine, President Putin became animated when recounting details about the mobilization of fighter jets, heavy artillery, tanks and heavily armed forces brandishing artillery and even flamethrowers, by repeatedly saying that those behind such moves had obviously gone off the reservation and had literally "lost it".

He underlined the utter hypocrisy of the calls by the neo-nazi coup for the civilian population to disarm by questioning why they did not ask the neo-nazi Right Sector insurrectionists to disarm as well.

Authorization to Use Force

President Putin reminded the audience that he still had the full authorization to deploy Russian forces in Ukraine but stated that he hoped that things would never come to that.


With regard to Julia Timoshenko President Putin recalled her statements to kill 8 million Russians in Ukraine with an atomic weapon and said he had had a normal business-like relationship with her and that she must have stated such things in a spate of emotion.

The president underlined the danger to gas deliveries to Europe through Ukraine and re-iterated the government's position with regard to gas prices delivers and the like to Ukraine, underlining the fact that Russia had supported Ukraine to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars during the last several decades.


The president underlined the shared history and brotherly relations between Ukraine and sympathized with the Ukrainian people. He gave a historical backdrop to the Right Sector and the nationalist fervor sweeping western Ukraine by detailing how western Ukraine had historically been belonged to various different countries and empires which caused an inherent schism in the minds of the people.


Popular Russian journalist and television personality and the Director General of the Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency Dmitry Kiselyov asked President Putin about the expansion of NATO and the threat to Russia's national security that NATO poses. Mr. Kiselyov underlined the fact that NATO is attempting to expand into Ukraine which for many Russians is an issue that it becoming a real and present danger and one which more and more people are worried about.

Mr. Kiselyov dramatized the actions of Russia being surrounded by NATO and its military elements by telling the president that he felt like there were metaphorical hands attempting to choke him as NATO surrounded Russia with its missiles.

President Putin stated that NATO's so called Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense System (ABM) was nothing but part of a US first strike capability and underlined the fact that NATO had repeatedly refused to sign any sort of document stating that these weapons were not being deployed against Russia. He underlined NATO's refusal to cooperate with Russia on missile defense and stated that NATO's push into the Black Sea was inexcusable and that NATO's move into Ukraine was akin to Russia being pushed out of the region.

President Putin guaranteed that the Russian people should not be afraid and that Russia was capable and would do what it has to in order to guarantee the safety of Russia and its people.

CIA Agent Greenberg "Snowden"

President Putin answered a question from the second American to be given asylum in Russia (me being the first), Edward Snowden, by starting out by saying he was a spy for America and as a former intelligence officer himself would answer him in professional terms. Snowden asked the president if Russia was conducting mass surveillance on the Russian people to which President Putin quite frankly answered that the Russian security services were subject to strict legal controls and could only conduct such surveillance on individuals and with a warrant.

Social and Other Issues

When asked by a man from an area that had been devastated by recent flooding but was being rebuilt if the president could order roads built to the isolated village, the man who said he had a car but complained that there were no roads, evoked a rare show of humor for President Putin who responded that the question must be some sort of provocation.

President Putin spent part of the session choosing questions by himself and answered several questions from small children, pensioners and others. His answers were brilliant, sincere, warm and compassionate and to be honest it was remarkable to watch the most influential president on our planet speak so unpretentiously, compassionately and at the same time seriously and with genuine concern, to common people from all across the spectrum.

President Putin Reacts as Kiev Junta Threatens Russian Lives and Squashes Dissent

16 April, 08:18

President Putin reacts as Kiev junta threatens Russian lives and squashes dissent

Article with links and citations

The mob beatings, kidnappings and public humiliation of candidates for president in Ukraine are just the latest outrages being carried out by the western backed and coup installed neo nazi junta in Ukraine. The complete affront to all accepted civilized democratic principles is just another in a long line of horrific acts that have been carried out by the western backed neo nazi Right Sector thugs that the US brought to power in Ukraine. The US is directly responsible for causing the demon of fascism to once raise its head in Europe, yet Europe and the international community are for the most part silent and are instead engaged in a frenzied irrational campaign to demonize Russia.

As the Ukrainian army moves against its own civilian population the West is for the most part silent or in criminal collusion with the nazi junta in Kiev. Nowhere are there cries of outrage against the unprecedented moves by the illegitimate bandera nazi government to violently quash popular protests against their illegal reign. The banderavites (note: the followers of bandera were called extreme by the Nazi SS during World War) are continuing their thuggish Brownshirt reign of terror and now literally beating their opponents in an attempt to prevent all opposition to their illegal reign.

Candidates Beaten

On Tuesday two candidates for the office of president of Ukraine, were attacked and beaten by violent neo nazi mobs and the junta authorities which are suspected of ordering the attacks, as well as the West, are again silent. Oleg Tsaryov, a pro-federalization supporter, was brutally beaten by a group of banderavites in Kiev as he arrived to take part in the "Svoboda Slova" ("Freedom of Speech") talk show. He is now in critical condition. Unidentified attackers also blocked and damaged the vehicle of another presidential candidate, Mikhail Dobkin, who was filmed being hit by a barrage flour and green antiseptic solution. There were also unconfirmed television reports that Dobkin was kidnapped and taken to an undisclosed location.

The candidates were attempting to take part in the political process of their election campaigns and engage in televised debates, which is a normal healthy democratic process, and the violent way in which they were denied their rights as candidates forces one to recall the way the same yet more "civilized" tactic was used against Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein and vice-presidential candidate Cheri Honkala as they attempted to enter the grounds of the presidential debate site at Hofstra University in New York in October of 2012.

Army Deployed

Under the pretext of an "anti-terrorist operation" Oleksander Turchinov, the Right Sector's Maidan "president" added to his long list of crimes against the Ukrainian people by ordering the Ukrainian army to deploy against civilian demonstrators in the south eastern part of Ukraine. According to television reports he authorized the army to fire on unarmed protestors.

Turchinov himself placed in power by a violent Right Sector coup that forced the current legitimate president of Ukraine to flee the country in order to protect his life, is now attempting through the use of force to consolidate his power, stifle dissent and neutralize any possible opponents. Sitting in his echo chamber in the Verhovnaya Rada, where all dissenters are also beaten, Turchinov makes a mockery of the office of president as he attempts to subjugate the people and force the will of his illegitimate coalition on the populace of Ukraine.

His use of the term "anti-terrorist" is outrageous as he is describing civilian protestors and some who have taken over local government building. His own rise to power came as his Right Sector stormed and occupied the houses of government in Kiev as they continue to do. Turchinov, who resembles an aging skin head both in appearance and in the low brow level of his acidic rhetoric is attempting to maintain and consolidate his faltering grip on power and has placed his Right Sector nazi extremists in positions of power in the interior ministry, the judiciary, the economic bodies, the security services and the armed forces.

Yulia Timoshenko recently revealed the real thinking about what the Ukrainian junta wants to do with the 8 million Russians in Ukraine when she said they should all be killed and now we know how the Right Sector is planning to deal with the up to 96% of the Ukrainian population that does not want them in power. Turchinov's mobilization of the army of Ukraine against the population of the south east which is mainly composed of ethnic Russians and supporters of federalization is an almost unheard of act in modern times and is illegal under international law and the Ukrainian Constitution. This is why President of Ukraine Yanukovich never called for the Berkut Forces in Ukraine to take up arms, even in their own defense as they were being slaughtered by Right Sector killers. The absolute brazen impunity with which the Right Sector and Turchinov are operating can only be attested to the fact that they enjoy the full support of the CIA and Obama's government.

This mockery to all civilization was shortly to be outdone by the goon Turchinov himself when he had the unmitigated audacity to invite the United Nations and Ban Ki-Moon to take part in his illegal quashing of dissent. This outrageous affront and mockery of the United Nations, like the previous "official" statement by the junta's nazi UN representative which attempted to deny the legitimacy of the Nuremberg Trials once again shows the absolute illegality and illegitimacy of the Kiev junta yet the western media is silent or marching lock step and justifying the crimes being carried out by the Right Sector by demonizing the civilians as being pro-Russian "radicals". Some may be pro-Russian but being pro-Russian does not make you a terrorist, neither does calling for federalization which is the only way that Ukraine is going to remain intact.

The Right Sector's military solution to political dissent, which now includes reports of casualties among the unarmed civilian population is an outrage of historic proportions and must not be allowed to stand or be supported, even under the guise of Russophobia.

President Putin

President Putin is once again faced with a situation that is threatening the lives of ethnic Russians and is a direct threat to the security of the Russian Federation and is continuing to attempt to solve the crisis through the use of diplomacy and dialogue. A true statesman his behavior is in stark contrast to the "shock and awe" of Washington and the thuggish violence of the little US puppets in Kiev.

The Kremlin website reports that President Putin called UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon:"The conversation addressed the crisis in Ukraine, which has grown significantly worse due to the use of force initiated by the Kiev authorities in the southeast of the country."

"In particular, Mr. Putin stressed that the Russian side expects the United Nations and the international community to clearly condemn these anti-constitutional actions."

On Tuesday President Putin also spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel: "Mr. Putin and Ms Merkel exchanged views on the anti-constitutional course taken by the current authorities in Kiev to forcefully suppress protests in the southeast regions of Ukraine. The President of Russia noted that the sharp escalation of the conflict essentially puts the nation on the brink of civil war."

"The leaders of Russia and Germany stressed the vital importance of the four-party (Russia, EU, US, Ukraine) talks scheduled for April 17, 2014. Hope was expressed that the meeting in Geneva would send a clear signal to help take the situation in a peaceful direction."

"The President of Russia also pointed out the importance of resolving issues in stabilizing Ukraine’s economy and ensuring supplies and transit of Russian natural gas to Europe, which were raised in his message to the leaders of several European nations on April 10, 2014."

Russian Foreign Ministry

The Russian Foreign Ministry has also released several statements regarding the situation in Ukraine and has slammed the European Union for ignoring the beating of presidential candidates in Ukraine. "The European Union is completely ignoring the facts that Ukrainian presidential candidates were beaten and intimidated, which looks cynical, What proof do our European partners need in order to understand the degree of the impact from right wing extremists and first of all from Right Sector?"

Russian Public Chamber

The Russian Public Chamber also issued a statement over the latest illegal moves by the junta in Kiev and is preparing formal complaints to international bodies: "Russia’s Public Chamber is outraged by the massive violations of human rights in Ukraine and is preparing complaints to the European Court of Human Rights", a member of Russian Public Chamber Georgij Fedorov said.

"A lot of people have complained of human rights violations in Ukraine, such as a clamp down on freedom of speech, cases of unjustified dismissal, forced participation in public events, and assaults. Approximately every 20th appeal contained similar information," he said.

United Nations

The United Nations in Ukraine has admitted what I have been saying from the start, namely that there is a massive disinformation campaign be waged by the western media. Yet the UN continues to act as the glue that Victoria Nuland had said they would be and is following the US narrative including the denial that that the Maidan snipers were part of the Right Sector. The UN report also blames the unarmed Berkut Forces who were being burned alive, beaten to death with cement filled steel pipes and shot to death by snipers for an escalation to the conflict.

The UN unfortunately makes no mention of the nazi tactics of the Right Sector, nor do they publicize the very public Nuremberg Trial denial of the Right Sector junta representative in March.

“It is critical for the Government to prioritise respect for diversity, inclusivity and equal participation of all – including minorities – in political life,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.

“Facts on the ground need to be established to help reduce the risk of radically different narratives being exploited for political ends. People need a reliable point of view to counter what has been widespread misinformation and also speech that aims to incite hatred on national, religious or racial grounds,” she added.

Ineffective and criminally compliant

US Mercenaries

More than 300 Greystone mercenaries are in Ukraine and are assisting the neo-nazi Right Sector in attempting to make sure the illegal US backed $5 billion puppet regime stay in power. Proving that the US is going to any measurer whatsoever and engaged in an extremely illegal and active covert operation to match its overt efforts to cement its illegal regime change operation in Ukraine the Director of CIA John Brennan flew to Ukraine to meet with his agents in Kiev underlining the porous communications infrastructure the CIA has in the country and apparently to order the crack down on "pro-Russian" demonstrators.

"With the illegal, coup d'etat installed government in Kiev about to engage in some very serious skull cracking to put down a mounting rebellion in Eastern Ukraine there have been some accounts that hired guns from corporate mercenary firms are augmenting the local paramilitary police forces. With the pushback against the US backed "Yats" regime and it's neo-Nazi shock troops it is imperative that a real version of the Euromaiden "revolution" not be allowed to take root to oust the stooges of the corporate global finance mafia."


"White House spokesman Jay Carney confirmed that CIA Director John Brennan visited Ukrainian capital Kiev over the weekend and met with high-ranked Ukrainian officials.

Previously, deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich accused Brennan of ordering a crackdown on pro-Russian activists in the east of the country."


The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) which is a front for the CIAand was expelled from the Russian Federation has an extremely long and sordid history in destabilizing governments, undermining democracy and a decades-long campaign of attempting to destabilize Russia and manipulate public opinion in line with their almost psychotic Russophobia and irrational relentless drive to demonize Russia: "The situation in Ukraine, however, is not entirely as the corporate media would have us believe. Wayne Madsen provides a look at the effort by the United States to destabilize not only Ukraine, but Russia. The crisis in the Ukraine provides an additional headache for Russia as it deals with terrorist threats on the eve of its hosting the Winter Olympics in Sochi."

The Ministry of Truth

Having thrown all journalistic ethics aside in an orgy of Russophobic demonization and denial of reality the western media continues to march lock step with the organizers and supporters of the CIA/NATO/EU/USAID/Soros coup d'état in Kiev and the western backed Right Sector. Were the army of any country activated and allowed to open fire on unarmed civilians the reactions would be outrage but the majority of the western media is justifying the actions of the fascists in Ukraine by throwing out the Russia card.

Unarmed peaceful demonstrators in eastern Ukraine who are calling for a legal democratic Ukrainian Government and the federalization of Ukraine because that is the only way that Ukraine will continue to exist as a state and the only way their voices can be heard are being demonized as: "pro-Russia separatists; pro-Russian forces; pro-Russian mob; locals holding Russian flags (OMG!!!); (the Guardian counters the 300 Blackwater mercenaries inforamation beautifully with this: 300 Russian forces had infiltrated neighbouring Luhansk); pro-Russian militants; Cossacks – paramilitary fighters; radical pro-Russia presiden