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Wednesday 29 March 2023 Dublin: 11°C
AP/PA Images Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at the plenary session of the 19th annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club.
# Russia
Vladimir Putin says decade ahead is the 'most dangerous' since World War II
The Ukraine offensive is only a part of the ‘tectonic shifts of the entire world order,’ Putin said.

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR Putin has said that the coming decade will be the “most dangerous” since the end of World War II, while accusing the West of seeking to dominate the world.

“Ahead is probably the most dangerous, unpredictable and at the same time important decade since the end of the Second World War,” Putin told members of the annual Valdai Discussion Club, adding that the situation is “to a certain extent revolutionary”.

The Ukraine offensive is only a part of the “tectonic shifts of the entire world order,” Putin said.

“The historical period of undivided dominance of the West in world affairs is coming to an end. The unipolar world is becoming a thing of the past,” he said.

“We are at a historical frontier,” he added.

Putin added that the West is not able to “single-handedly govern humanity” but is “desperately trying to do it”.

“Most peoples of the world no longer want to put up with it,” he said.

Putin also said that Moscow is trying to “defend its right to exist” in the face of Western efforts to “destroy” his country.

“Russia is not challenging the elites of the West, Russia is just trying to defend its right to exist,” he said.

Meanwhile, Putin said a mission of the UN’s atomic agency should inspect Ukraine’s nuclear sites “as fast as possible”, reiterating Moscow’s claims Kyiv is preparing to use a “dirty bomb”.

“They say the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) wants to come and check Ukraine’s nuclear facilities. We are in favour. And it should be done as fast as possible,” Putin said.

The Russian president added that Kyiv is “doing everything to cover up traces of this preparation”.

A dirty bomb is a conventional bomb laced with radioactive, biological or chemical materials which are spread in an explosion.

Russia has accused Ukraine of preparing such a “dirty bomb” against Moscow’s troops.

“I gave (Defence Minister Sergei) Shoigu the order to call all of his colleagues and inform them” of the plan, Putin said Thursday.

Over the past week, Shoigu repeated the allegations in calls with numerous counterparts including from France, the US, the UK, China and India.

France, the US and the UK rejected the claim and NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg warned Russia may be trying to use the claim as a “pretext” for escalation.

Kyiv suspects Russia might itself use a dirty bomb in a “false flag” attack, possibly to justify use of conventional nuclear weapons by Moscow as it finds itself on the back foot in eastern and southern Ukraine.

Putin said using nuclear weapons in Ukraine would “make no sense at all to us — either in political or military terms”.

He said Ukraine and the West accused Russia of military escalation to “influence neutral countries and tell them: look at Russia! Don’t cooperate!”

© AFP 2022 

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