Russian President Vladimir Putin says the West’s desire to maintain its hegemony on the world stage is increasing the risks of conflict, slamming the US and its allies for using Ukraine as "cannon fodder".
Putin made the remarks on Friday in a video message to a summit of defense ministers from the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and a group of former Soviet countries.
“The potential for conflict in the world is growing and this is a direct consequence of the attempts by Western elites to preserve their political, financial, military, and ideological dominance by any means,” Putin said.
“They deliberately multiply chaos and aggravate the international situation,” he hastened to add.
Russian president denounced the West for “exploiting” Ukraine and using its people as “cannon fodder” in a conflict against Russia, which began in February.
Referring to the Western elites, Putin said that they usually cause more chaos and destabilize the international situation.
Putin has repeatedly described the ongoing war in Ukraine as a conflict between Russia and the West and has slammed those who support Ukraine militarily and financially, especially the US and the UK.
On Thursday, Putin accused Ukraine of not supplying water to the Russian-controlled Donetsk region, saying such acts amounted to genocide.
“Who is not providing water to Donetsk,” Putin asked. “Not providing water to a city of 1 million people is an act of genocide.”
The war in Ukraine is in its tenth month now. Both Russia and Ukraine have stepped up their attacks in recent weeks, with each side blaming the other for targeting civilians and non-military positions.
Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine in late February, following Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements and Moscow’s recognition of the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.
At the time, Russian President Vladimir Putin said one of the goals of what he called a “special military operation” was to “de-Nazify” Ukraine.
Since the outbreak of war, the United States and its European allies have imposed an array of sanctions on Russia while supplying large caches of advanced weaponry to Ukraine despite warnings from Moscow.