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‘Like they plundered India…’: Putin slams 'imperialist' West as Russia annexes Ukraine's 4 regions

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Kremlin, Sep 30: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday gave a fiery speech accusing the West of plundering countries like India in contradiction to the values of "truth, freedom and justice."

"The West...began its colonial policy back in the Middle Ages, and then followed the slave trade, the genocide of Indian tribes in America, the plunder of India, of Africa, the wars of England and France against China," said Putin as he declared the annexation of four regions in Ukraine.

File photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin

"What they did was, hooking entire nations on drugs, deliberately exterminating entire ethnic groups. For the sake of land and resources, they hunted people like animals. This is contrary to the very nature of man, truth, freedom and justice," he added.

Putin accused the United States and its allies of seeking to destroy Russia. He said the West acted "as a parasite" and used its financial and technological strength "to rob the entire world."

"History has called us to a battlefield to fight for our people, for grand historic Russia, for future generations," Putin said.

The Kremlin preceded its scheduled annexation ceremonies Friday with another warning to Ukraine that it shouldn't fight to take back the four regions. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow would view a Ukrainian attack on the taken territory as an act of aggression against Russia itself.

Ukraine accelerates NATO bid as Russia annexes 4 regionsUkraine accelerates NATO bid as Russia annexes 4 regions

The annexations are Russia's attempt to set its gains in stone, at least on paper, and scare Ukraine and its Western backers with the prospect of an increasingly escalatory conflict unless they back down - which they show no signs of doing.

The Kremlin paved the way for the land-grabs with "referendums," sometimes at gunpoint, that Ukraine and Western powers universally dismissed as rigged shams.

with agency inputs

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