Coming off the recently renewed ‘Ukraine crisis’ – which was calmed only after late last month Russia ordered its tens of thousands of additional forces built up in Crimea and near Donbass back to their home bases – Vladimir Putin gave a rare bellicose speech to a meeting of top Russian officials wherein he warned the West and “foreign foes” that Moscow would “knock their teeth out” if they attempt to peel away pieces of Russia’s huge territory.
“In all times, the same thing happened: once Russia grew stronger, they found pretexts to hamper its development,” Putin said. He didn’t name specific ‘enemy’ countries, but it came in the context of the Russian leader discussing wars over resources, and the country’s ability to look out for itself and its own population first.
“Everyone wants to bite us or bite something off us, but those who would like to do so should know that we would knock their teeth out so that they couldn’t bite,” Putin emphasized. “The development of our military is the guarantee of that.”