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Putin the imperialist: Why Ukraine is part of his dream of a Greater Russia

Vladimir Putin’s speeches and writings have often been dismissed as nationalist propaganda, but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine casts his thinking in a far more sinister light, writes Borzou Daragahi

Thursday 10 March 2022 00:47 GMT
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Russian president Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the government in Moscow, 20 October 2021
Russian president Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the government in Moscow, 20 October 2021 (Sputnik/AFP/Getty)

Two days after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin’s state-controlled news agency RIA Novosti published, then quickly removed, what appeared to be a pre-written essay that hailed Moscow’s military victory over its neighbour.

“A new world is being born before our eyes,” said the flowery article, which was spotted by Kremlin watchers, translated, and distributed as an example of the propaganda and underlying mentality of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.

“Russia’s military operation in Ukraine has ushered in a new era,” it read.

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