In First Speech After Winning Russia Election, Putin Warns West Of World War 3 | World News

New Delhi: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday issued a caution to Western nations, stating that any direct engagement between Russia and the NATO forces led by the U.S. could precipitate the globe to the brink of a third world war, a situation he believes is undesirable to most. The conflict in Ukraine has escalated tensions between Moscow and Western countries to levels not seen since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Despite frequently highlighting the dangers of nuclear conflict, Putin asserts that the use of nuclear arms in Ukraine has never been a necessity for him.

In a historic victory, President Vladimir Putin secured an unprecedented win in Russia’s recent election, reinforcing his strong hold on power. This triumph, he stated, validates Moscow’s stance against the West and its decision to deploy forces to Ukraine.

Putin, who ascended to power in 1999 after a career as a KGB lieutenant colonel, emphasized that the election outcome is a clear signal to Western leaders that they must engage with a more assertive Russia for the foreseeable future.

At 71, Putin is poised to begin a new six-year term, which could make him the longest-serving Russian leader in over two centuries, surpassing Josef Stalin.

With an 87.8% vote share according to the Public Opinion Foundation (FOM) and 87% according to the Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (VCIOM), Putin achieved the highest post-Soviet electoral result. Initial official results seem to confirm these figures. However, several countries including the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom have questioned the election’s integrity, citing political detentions and media restrictions.

The Communist contender Nikolai Kharitonov came in second with nearly 4%, followed by the newcomer Vladislav Davankov, and the ultra-nationalist Leonid Slutsky, as indicated by preliminary results.

In his victory address in Moscow, Putin pledged to focus on the challenges linked to Russia’s ongoing military actions in Ukraine and to bolster the Russian armed forces. Putin declared to his audience that unity is Russia’s strength, and that no adversary has ever, or will ever, succeed in intimidating or subduing them.

The crowd erupted into chants of “Putin” and “Russia” as he took the stage and concluded his speech.

Despite the death of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in an Arctic prison, which sparked protests against Putin across Russia and internationally, Putin dismissed the impact of these demonstrations on the election results, calling Russia’s electoral process democratic.

Addressing Navalny’s death for the first time, Putin expressed sorrow and revealed that he had been open to a prisoner exchange involving Navalny shortly before his passing.

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