Truthmeter reviewed the speech delivered by Russian President, Vladimir Putin from February 24, 2022, published on the official website of the Kremlin, and in it he does not, in any context, mention the Macedonian and Serbian presidents, writes Truthmeter.mk.
Under the syndicating agreement between Truthmeter.mk and Meta.mk, we republish the text below:
Article entitled: “Putin warns Pendarovski, Vuchich and the Balkan leaders not to interfere? IF ANYONE TRIES TO HINDER US, THEY WILL SUFFER GREAT CONSEQUENCES”, part of the address of Russian President Vladimir Putin from February 24, 2022, was reported, the day when Russia invaded Ukraine.
The headline reads that Putin warned Macedonian and Serbian Presidents Stevo Pendarovski and Aleksandar Vuchich, as well as other Balkan leaders, not to interfere in Russia’s campaign in Ukraine. This is untrue as Putin did not mention Pendarovski and Vuchich anywhere in his speech.
The article, although initially said to report the entire speech by Putin, which was published on the Kremlin website, does not contain such a thing. Only two paragraphs from his introductory speech have been transmitted and that is all. There is not even a link to the Kremlin’s official website, where readers could read Putin’s entire speech and see if he really mentioned Pendarovski and Vuchich or not.
Truthmeter examined the Russian president’s speech and did not find anything of the sort. At the beginning, he talked about NATO’s expansion to the east and bringing the Atlantic Alliance’s military infrastructure closer to the Russia’s borders.
It is well known that for 30 years we have been persistently and patiently trying to reach an agreement with the leading NATO countries on the principles of equal and indivisible security in Europe. In response to our proposals, we have been constantly confronted with either cynical deception and lies, or attempts of pressure and blackmail, while the North Atlantic Alliance is constantly expanding, despite all our protests and concerns. The military machine is moving and, I repeat, is approaching our borders, Putin said.
He then referred to the attitude of Western countries after the Second World War, mentioning the NATO bombing of Serbia:
Of course, in practical life, in international relations, in the rules for their regulation, it was necessary to take into account the changes in the condition of the world and the very balance of power. However, this should have been done professionally, unhindered, patiently, bearing in mind and respecting the interests of all countries and understanding our responsibility. But no – a state of euphoria due to absolute superiority, a kind of modern form of absolutism, even low level of general knowledge and arrogance of those who prepared, adopted and forced decisions that were beneficial only to them. The situation began to develop according to a different scenario.
You don’t have to look far for examples. First, without any sanction from the UN Security Council, they carried out a bloody military operation against Belgrade, using planes and projectiles in the middle of Europe. Several weeks of continuous bombing of civilian cities, of life support infrastructure. We must remind them of these facts, otherwise some Western colleagues choose not to remember these events and when we talk about them, they prefer not to discuss the norms of international law, but the circumstances which they interpret as they see fit.
The Russian president continues with the situation in Iraq, Libya, Syria, accusing the United States and its allies of carrying out a military campaign on these countries without a legal basis, using lies:
However, a special place in this series is, of course, the invasion of Iraq, also without any legal basis. As an excuse, they chose credible information that was allegedly made available to the United States for the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. As proof of this, publicly, in front of the public eye of the whole world, the American Secretary of State shook a test tube with white powder, convincing everyone that it is the chemical weapon being developed in Iraq. And then it turns out that this is a deception, a bluff: there are no chemical weapons in Iraq. Incredible, surprising, but the fact remains. There were lies at the highest state level and from the high rostrum of the UN. And as a result – huge casualties, destruction, an incredible surge of terrorism.
The Russian president emphasizes that he was also deceived regarding the expansion of NATO to the east. Although he was promised that such thing will not take place, the promise fell through.
As for our country, after the breakup of the USSR, with all the unprecedented openness of the new modern Russia, the willingness to work honestly with the United States and other Western partners and in conditions of practical unilateral disarmament, they immediately tried corner us, to end us and completely destroy us. This is exactly what happened in the 1990s, early 2000s, when the so-called Collective West most actively supported separatism and mercenary gangs in southern Russia. The sacrifices, the losses it all cost us back then, the temptations we had to go through before we finally broke the spine of the international terrorism in the Caucasus. We remember this and we will never forget, he said.
Putin, among other things, emphasizes that further NATO expansion into the territories of Ukraine is unacceptable for Russia:
And now, as NATO expands to the east, the situation for our country is getting worse and more dangerous each year. Moreover, in recent days, the NATO leadership has been openly talking about the need to accelerate the advancement of the Alliance’s infrastructure to the borders of Russia. In other words, they are strengthening their position. We can no longer just keep watching what is happening. That would be absolutely irresponsible on our part. For us, it is unacceptable to further expand the infrastructure of the North Atlantic Alliance, the launched military development of the territories of Ukraine. The point, of course, is not the NATO organization, per se, – it is just an instrument of U.S. foreign policy. I will note that the problem is that in the territories next to us, in our own historical territories, a hostile “anti-Russia” is being created which has been placed under complete external control, is being intensively inhabited by the armed forces of NATO countries and is stuffed with state-of-the-art weapons.
As for the situation in Donbas, Putin said that Russia has been trying to resolve the conflict peacefully since 2014, by political means, but in vain.
As I said in my previous speech, one cannot see what is happening there without compassion. It was simply impossible to take all this. It was necessary to stop this nightmare immediately – the genocide against the millions of people living there, who rely only on Russia, hope only in us. It is these aspirations, feelings, pain of the people that were the main motive for us to make the decision to recognize the People’s Republics in Donbas,” Putin said.
The Russian president said that Russia would continue to treat all newly formed countries in the post-Soviet area with respect, but noted that “it can not feel safe, develop, or exist with the constant threat posed by the territory of modern Ukraine.”
Let me remind you that in 2000-2005 we gave military resistance to the terrorists in the Caucasus, we defended the integrity of our country, we saved Russia. In 2014, they supported the people of Crimea and Sevastopol. In 2015, the armed forces set up a secure barrier to prevent the penetration of terrorists from Syria into Russia. We had not other way to protect ourselves. The same is happening now. You and I simply have no other choice but to protect Russia, our people, except for the one we will be forced to use today. Circumstances require us to take decisive and urgent action. The Donbas People’s Republics turned to Russia for help.
He stressed that Russia’s plans do not include the occupation of Ukrainian territories. “We shall not impose anything on anyone by force,” Putin said.
Addressing the military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Putin called on them to lay down their weapons.
Dear friends! Your fathers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers did not fight the Nazis, defending our common homeland, so that today’s neo-Nazis can take power in Ukraine. You have taken an oath of allegiance to the Ukrainian people, not to the anti-national junta that is pillaging Ukraine and mocking those same people. Do not follow its criminal orders. I call you to drop your weapons immediately and go home. Allow me to explain: all Ukrainian Army soldiers who meet this requirement will be free to leave the combat zone and return to their families. Once again, I persistently emphasize: the entire responsibility for the possible bloodshed will be entirely on the conscience of the regime that rules the territory of Ukraine.
By the end of his speech, the Russian president also addressed “those who may be tempted to intervene in the current events.”
Whoever tries to hinder us, and even more to create threats for our country, for our people, let them know that Russia’s response will be immediate and will lead you to consequences that you have not experienced in your history. We are ready for any development. All necessary decisions in this regard have been made. I hope they will hear me.
It is obvious that the author of the article we are analyzing arbitrarily interpreted such a message, as a message to Pendarovski and Vuchich. It is a fact that Putin does not mention the Macedonian and Serbian presidents anywhere in his speech.
In this way, the has journalist violated Article 1 of the Journalists Code, which states:
The journalist has the right to free access to all sources of information that are of public interest. The journalist should publish accurate, checked information and will not conceal essential data or falsify documents. If the information can not be confirmed, or it is a guess, i.e. speculation, it should be said and published. The accuracy of the information should be checked as much as possible.