Silvio Berlusconi, the former prime minister of Italy, defends Putin by suggesting that the decision to invade Ukraine came in response to a call from separatists. A personal friend of the Russian leader, Berlusconi played down Vladimir Putin’s aggressive instincts after he threatened to use nuclear weapons following the setbacks in Ukraine.
The former prime minister of Italy defends Putin PHOTO EPA EFE
Vladimir Putin “was pushed” by the pro-Russian separatists in Donbas, the press and the Russian people to start the war in Ukraine, the former prime minister and leader of the center-right party Forza Italia, Silvio Berlusconi, said on Italian television on Thursday evening. writes Reuters, quoted by digi24.ro.
It is not the first time that Berlusconi defends Putin for the actions of the Russian leader in Ukraine.
“Putin was pushed by the Russian people, by his party, by his ministers to invent this particular operation,” Berlusconi said.
During the tenure of Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Italy strongly supported Western sanctions against Russia in response to its actions in Ukraine.
Giorgia Meloni, the leader of Italy’s far-right Brothers party, designated as the next prime minister, has pledged to continue that position, but Berlusconi and her other ally, Matteo Salvini, have been ambivalent.
What would have been, in fact, Russia’s plan
According to Berlusconi, Russia’s plan was initially to capture Kiev “within a week”, replace Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy with “a government of decent people” and get out (of Ukraine – ed.) “in -a week”.
“I didn’t even understand why Russian troops were spread around Ukraine, while in my mind they should have stayed only around Kiev,” added the former Italian prime minister, quoted by Reuters.
Berlusconi also pointed out that the Russians encountered “unexpected resistance, which was then fueled by weapons of all kinds from the West.”
“The war lasted more than 200 days, the situation became very difficult, I feel sick when I hear about the dead because I always considered the war to be indescribable madness,” said Silvio Berlusconi, quoted by Reuters.
The separatists’ prayer to the Kremlin leader
Speaking on Italian public broadcaster RAI, Berlusconi suggested that Moscow’s decision to invade Ukraine came in response to a call from separatists.
He said their leaders came to the Kremlin and told Putin directly, “please defend us, because if you don’t defend us, we don’t know where we could end up.”
Berlusconi also said that after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, he visited the peninsula with Putin and saw locals coming out of their homes to thank the Russian leader.
The Russian Embassy publishes memories on social networks
On the day that Berlusconi spoke about the war on Italian television, the Russian Embassy in Rome published on social networks photos of the main Italian leaders with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Excerpts from the recent history between Russia and Italy. So many memories”, writes the embassy with irony as a caption to four carefully chosen photos in which prominent actors from the electoral campaign appear, who distanced themselves from Moscow after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In one of the photos, the Kremlin leader is with his friend Silvio Berlusconi.