All sophistry and deceitful tongues wagging… “Correct reading” of Putin’s statement by the “evil emperor”.
～Kuroi Fumitaro reports...
Putin’s “ton-demonstration” speech
Putin said, “There are big changes happening not only in Russia, but all over the world. I believe that these changes will be for the better.”
President Putin said this in a video address to a children’s rally in Moscow on December 18. By “change in the world,” he meant, of course, the invasion of Ukraine, but he did not say so explicitly.
I hope that the world will become more just, that all peoples will be equal, and that we will be able to preserve our traditions and languages,” he continued.
He continued. In other words, he justified the invasion of Ukraine as a just war.
Such claims are fictional, of course, but Putin always talks about self-justification with aplomb, using sophistry and deception. He makes statements in his own words quite frequently, but the content of his statements is always focused on the correctness of his ideas, and since he became president 22 years ago, he has always put the justification of his decisions first and has never retracted a word he has uttered. He has continued to live up to his dictatorial image of a “macho leader” both mentally and physically.
In July 2021, Putin published a paper under his own name that suggested that Ukraine was part of Russia, and when he invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, he declared the de-Nazification (overthrow) and demilitarization (total surrender of the Ukrainian army) of the Ukrainian regime. This demand for de-Nazification and demilitarization has not been retracted to this day.
Putin insists on “exclusive defense” to the end.
To this day, Putin also continues to assert the logic that he is only defending himself and his country against NATO. For example, in an online meeting of the Presidential Council on Human Rights on December 7, he justified his aggression against his neighbor by saying, “The war was not started by us, but by the pro-Western regime that came to power in Ukraine in 2014.
The following day, December 8, at the ceremony to award the Hero of the Russian Federation, he gave his first drunken speech in front of the cameras since assuming the presidency.
All the information that is circulating is fake. We are attacking power plants and other facilities in neighboring countries because they attacked the Crimean bridge and civilian facilities first.
He went on to justify himself by saying such things as “We are attacking our neighbors’ power plants because they attacked the Crimean bridge and civilian facilities first. Perhaps he really believes this.
Russia is calling for negotiations with the U.S. and Ukraine. But that does not mean that Russia will make a realistic compromise and accept a deal.
For example, on December 2, when press secretary Peskov accused the U.S. of making the withdrawal of Russian troops a precondition for negotiations, several domestic and foreign media reported that “Russia wants a ceasefire with the status quo. It should be noted, however, that he has indicated only one condition for negotiations: “to be in line with Russia’s interests. He did not say that he wanted to maintain the status quo.
Putin’s own words, too, always presuppose an all-out victory for the Russian military. It is true that Russia is militarily outmatched and that maintaining the status quo is in Russia’s interest, but Putin himself still speaks on the premise of Ukraine’s de facto surrender and has not shown the slightest willingness to retract his words and accept negotiations on maintaining the status quo. In the aforementioned December 7 online meeting, he also spoke of the invasion of Ukraine as “going to be a long process,” suggesting a long war.
Russia is completely under Putin’s dictatorship, and he is the sole decision-maker. Russia has started a war on Putin’s sole decision, with Putin talking grandly about the cause of sophistry, and tens of thousands of Russian soldiers have already died in the war. Russia has only a choice to protect Putin’s good name, in other words, a choice that does not damage his “infallibility. It is extremely unlikely that Russia will stop the war before Putin’s words are realized.
The True Meaning of the “Smell” of Nuclear Use
So, what about whether or not Putin’s words indicate that he is really considering the use of nuclear weapons? For example, on September 21, immediately after the Russians lost their occupation of Kharkiv, he said in a video statement
If Russia’s territorial integrity is threatened, we will use all means to protect Russia and its people. This is not a bl uff.”
He said. These words were also reported in several domestic and foreign media as “Putin suggested the use of nuclear weapons,” but this is not the case.
While these words were indeed a threat to use nuclear weapons, it is important to note that they were only a glimmer, and he did not clearly state in his own words that he would use nuclear weapons. The same is true of his words and actions in the period before and after the invasion, when he has often spoken of the nuclear threat and at the same time said that he would use a strong military force, but he has always carefully avoided saying that he would use nuclear weapons.
In his October 27 speech, he said that “the world is facing perhaps the most dangerous decade since World War II,” but that “Russia has never actively said it would use nuclear weapons. He said that Western discourse that Russia is threatening to “use nuclear weapons”
This was an attempt to check the West and get it to back off its support for Ukraine by initially flirting with the use of nuclear weapons without explicitly stating it, but it changed course after the prospect fell through. At the aforementioned online conference on December 7, Putin said that the nuclear threat was growing, and some media reported that Russia had suggested the use of nuclear weapons, but even at that time, Putin referred to the nuclear threat as “U.S. nuclear weapons deployed in large numbers in Europe. He also mentioned that Russia was only thinking of retaliation.
However, perhaps because his statement was reported by some as “Putin’s weakness,” on December 9, he wrote: “The U.S. does not have a theory of preventive strike.
The U.S. has a theory of preventive strike,” he said on December 9. （Russia should follow the U.S. lead and change its doctrine because it is restrained and the criteria for the use of nuclear weapons between the U.S. and Russia are unbalanced.
He also suggested that Russia would consider the idea of a preemptive strike. However, it is important to note that, as with other statements by Putin, he did not explicitly state that Russia would use nuclear weapons preemptively.
This method of preparing an escape route by saying, “I did not say I would do it,” while at the same time hinting that he might do it, is a characteristic of Putin’s argumentation. He avoids saying that he will use nuclear weapons at the very last moment and uses ambiguous language. This is deliberate and calculated in order to avoid making his words into a “pledge.
Putin’s Articulate Argumentation Demonstrated in the Northern Territories Issue
Putin’s argument was also used, for example, on the issue of the return of the Northern Territories. In the Irkutsk Declaration of 2001, Putin referred to the Soviet-Japanese Joint Declaration as the starting point for negotiations for a peace treaty, but he did not revive the declaration itself.
After that, he said, “Negotiations are not progressing because Japan is insisting on the four islands as a whole,” but he did not say, “Russia will agree to hand over the two islands if they are handed over. In order to win Japan’s hearts and minds, they do not deny, but they do not promise.
When he said that a “draw is necessary” for Japan-Russia negotiations, the Japanese side thought he meant “two islands, not four,” but Putin did not say that. He once said, “If we hand over the islands, the U.S. military will come,” but he never said, “Otherwise, we will hand them over.” This is the same approach.
On the contrary.
The Soviet-Japanese Joint Declaration says handover, but it does not say what will happen to sovereignty.
He even said with a straight face, “The Soviet-Japanese Joint Declaration says handover, but it doesn’t say what happens to our sovereignty. It was like a quip from Ikkyu-san’s “You mustn’t cross this bridge,” but such arguments are commonly used.
Note the fine phrasing.
In any case, the detailed phrasing of Putin’s words and deeds is important.
For example, in December 2021, before the invasion, he demanded “a firm commitment to non-expansion of NATO,” and stated clearly that he would “take military countermeasures” if that demand was not accepted. Neither NATO nor Ukraine would accept such a demand, which meant that a “pretext” was created for the Russian military to invade Ukraine. Putin’s reputation would be at stake if he did not do what he had clearly stated. It is highly probable that Putin had intended to invade at that point. In comparison, Putin’s words and actions regarding the use of nuclear weapons were evasive. In other words, the possibility of using nuclear weapons has not existed until now, and it is still unlikely at this point. In Putin’s argument, what he said and what he did not say are as important as what he said.
However, it is not certain that the same will be true in the future. Still, if the use of nuclear weapons becomes a realistic option, he will always say words of self-justification in advance. We need to continue to carefully watch the “phrasing” of Putin’s own words.
Interview and text by： Fumitaro Kuroi