Vladimir Putin says that ‘pedophilia is normal’ in the West.
The Russian dictator took to the stage in Moscow today (21 February) and offered an hour-long speech a year on since his country invaded Ukraine.
During the state of the nation address to Russia’s military and political elite, the 70-year-old claimed that Europe and the US had witnessed a destruction in its values.
Putin even claimed that things got so bad sex abuse was rampant, and even supported by the powers that be.
He said: “Look at what they do to their own people: the destruction of families, of cultural and national identities and the perversion that is child abuse all the way up to pedophilia are advertised as the norm… and priests are forced to bless same-sex marriages.”
Vladimir Putin says the West supports pedophilia. Credit: BBC
Adding: “That’s fine. They’re adults. They have the right to live their lives. We are always very tolerant about this in Russia.”
Putin also addressed the ongoing war in neighbouring Ukraine, which has seen his country lose thousands of lives.
When the invasion began, many felt that Ukraine would not be strong enough to defend itself indefinitely, however, Volodymyr Zelenskyy has proven to be a more resilient leader than some initially gave him credit for.
And Ukraine has scored a number of major military victories over the past 12 months, driving Russian forces out of the capital, Kyiv.
The Russian leader vowed no military let-up in Ukrainian territories he has illegally annexed, seemingly rejecting any chance of peace.
Instead, he offered his personalised version of recent history, which discounted arguments by the Ukrainian government that it needed western help to thwart a Russian military takeover.
Thousands of people have died since the war began last year. Credit: Ukraine/Alamy
“Western elites aren’t trying to conceal their goals to inflict a ‘strategic defeat’ to Russia,” Putin said during the speech.
“They intend to transform the local conflict into a global confrontation.”
He said Russia is prepared to respond as ‘it will be a matter of our country’s existence’.
Putin also said Russia will suspend its participation in a treaty aimed at keeping a lid on nuclear weapons expansion.
The so-called New Start Treaty was signed by Russia and the US in 2010 and caps the number of long-range nuclear warheads they can deploy and limits the use of missiles that can carry atomic weapons.
Putin said Russia is not fully withdrawing from the treaty yet – and said his country must be ready to resume nuclear weapons tests if the US does.