In Putin’s Own Words, Why Russia Invaded Ukraine

Glenn Rocess
12 min readJun 29, 2022
Vladimir Putin viewing a military parade at the Kremlin in 2016 (Sputnik)

There’s a Chinese nationalist that I communicate with, and he steadfastly defends the view that the Russia/Ukraine war is mostly America’s fault. This article is an attempt to show him that no, this is a war of aggression and conquest initiated by Russia at Putin’s command. All boldface is mine, added for emphasis.

An Examination of Putin’s Speech to Russia, February 22, 2022:

So let me start with the fact that modern Ukraine was created entirely by Russia, more precisely, by Bolshevik communist Russia. This process began almost immediately after the 1917 Revolution, and Lenin and his comrades-in-arms did it in a very crude way with Russia itself — by secession, cutting off parts of its own historical territories. Of course, no one asked the millions of people who lived there for anything.

Then, before and after the Great Patriotic War, Stalin already annexed some territories that had previously belonged to Poland, Romania and Hungary to the USSR and transferred them to Ukraine. As a kind of compensation, Stalin gave Poland some of the ancestral German territories, and in 1954, for some reason, Khrushchev took Crimea away from Russia and gave it to Ukraine. In this way, the territory of Soviet Ukraine was created.

The above is how Putin began his speech, by giving his version of the history of Ukraine. It is apparent that to his view, Ukraine never had its own culture, or even its own national identity. He does not mention that under the structure of the USSR, Ukraine was its own Soviet Socialist Republic, and as such was a charter member of the United Nations. Neither does he mention how Ukraine chafed and suffered under the Soviet yoke, with nearly four million of its people perishing from starvation during the Holodomor, Stalin’s man-made famine. Nor does he refer to the Ukrainian resistance that fought for true independence from Soviet Russia, or the cruelty of Stalinist repression.:

In parallel with the industrialization and collectivization drives, the Soviet regime commenced a campaign against “nationalist deviations” that escalated into a virtual assault on Ukrainian culture. Repression of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church culminated in the liquidation of the church in 1930 and the arrest and exile of its hierarchy and…

Glenn Rocess

Retired Navy. Inveterate contrarian. If I haven’t done it, I’ve usually done something close.