Analysis |

Putin’s Annexation Speech Declares War on the West, but Leaves an Escape Route Open

The Russian president’s lengthy lecture included belligerent rhetoric, accusations of colonialism and a series of historical 'facts,' but not what the world feared most: nuclear threats

Liza Rozovsky
Liza Rozovsky
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Liza Rozovsky
Liza Rozovsky

For almost 20 minutes, the crowd sat in the opulent Giorgi Auditorium, waiting tensely and in perfect silence. Government ministers, the security council and Russian parliament, along with the four men Russia has appointed as heads of the occupied Ukrainian regions – Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson – all fell victim to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s known practice of keeping people waiting.

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