Russian leader Vladimir Putin's escalation of hostilities between the U.S. and itself continued Tuesday when Putin announced in a 2-hour long speech that he was suspending the New START treaty between the two countries.
The New START treaty limits both countries' nuclear development, and Putin's suspension of it signals a more threatening posture about whether Russia will use nukes against the U.S. going forward.
The remarks were made during Putin's State of the Nation speech, which he is required to give annually, but has not actually given since 2021.
Putin also made statements about Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky's administration, accusing it of being "neo-Nazi" in ideology and of following the West in its "perversion" and "spiritual catastrophe."
Putin seemed especially dismayed about the Anglican church reportedly considering "the idea of a gender-neutral God," but he also railed against same-sex marriage and transgenderism.
He actually sounded almost religious, which is interesting considering he headed up the Soviet Union a few decades ago, and religion and faith in God were banned.
He spent most of his time, however, speaking about Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which will have been going on a year on Friday.
Putin claimed that he had tried "everything" to resolve the conflict by peaceful means, but the West wouldn't allow Ukraine to do so.
This is quite a story considering that Russia was the invading force, and if they withdrew, the war would end.
“I want to repeat this: it was they who unleashed the war, and we used force to stop it,” Putin asserted.
In fact, Russian forces massed on the Ukraine border for months before Russia invaded Ukraine and launched an attack. This is quite obvious given that Russian troops are on Ukrainian soil, but there are no Ukrainian troops on Russian soil.
One could even say that Russia started the war back in in 2014 when it invaded Crimea, which it still holds. Zelensky and others in his administration have said that very thing repeatedly.
Peace will now be difficult because Russia doesn't want to admit that the invasion was for nothing and leave Ukraine when 100,000 of its troops have been killed, by most estimates. While such a move would be a return to a neutral situation, it would seem like defeat to Putin.
Additionally, Zelensky now wants a peaceful resolution to include returning Crimea to Ukrainian control, and Russia is not likely to agree with that.