Headline RoundupFebruary 21st, 2023

Putin Blames West for Ukraine War in State of the Nation Speech

Summary from AllSides News Team

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a state of the nation address on Monday, accusing the West of driving the war in Ukraine and suspending a key nuclear arms treaty.

Key Quotes: "The people of Ukraine have become the hostage of the Kyiv regime and its Western overlords, who have effectively occupied this country in the political, military and economic sense," Putin said. He also said he was "forced to announce today that Russia is suspending its participation in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty."

For Context: Putin's speech came hours after President Joe Biden visited Kyiv, and days before the 1-year anniversary of his invasion of Ukraine. The arms treaty he suspended was a long-standing agreement to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the U.S. and Russia. The two countries are by far the biggest nuclear powers, and hold a combined 90% of the world's nuclear warheads. The treaty "limited both sides to 1,550 warheads on deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine ballistic missiles and heavy bombers," according to Reuters.

How the Media Covered It: Putin's speech was a top story across the political spectrum Tuesday, especially from left- and center-rated sources, some of which said he "falsely claimed" the West had started the war.

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