RIGA - The main topic of Russian President Vladimir Putin's speech on February 21 will be the "special military operation" in various contexts, the director of the Latvian National Defense Academy's Security and Strategic Research Center Toms Rostoks told LETA.
In his opinion, Putin will repeat the justification for the war in Ukraine in his speech. He could also remind that the war was a necessity and that the Russian president had no choice but to attack Ukraine.
According to Rostoks, the Russian president could talk about the need to make sacrifices and suffer losses in the context of war, but all this is in the name of a brighter future.
The director of the Center for Security and Strategic Research assumed that the speech would emphasize benefits such as the "liberated" territories in Ukraine at the beginning of the war. There will also be bragging about Russia's military potential, which should be enough to win the war.
"It is possible that Putin will threaten nuclear weapons again. There will be a lot of lamentation about the hostile West, which has finally 'shown its true face' in the context of this war," says Rostoks.
Putin could also emphasize that the war did not have a big impact on the Russian economy - the fall in the gross domestic product last year was quite small. The Russian president will certainly talk about the acquisition of other markets in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Putin will emphasize that Russia is making great efforts to improve its economic situation this year.
"The speech will probably mention the United States as Russia's most important opponent, also in the context of yesterday's visit of US President Joe Biden to Kyiv. This will be presented as yet another proof of the hostility of the West," Rostoks said.
The director of the Security and Strategic Research Center admitted that the Russian president's address will not include far-reaching statements about mobilization. Rostoks points out - if there will be any announcements about the escalation of the war from the Russian side, then it should be kept in mind that Russia does not have many opportunities to escalate this war.