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Putin is trying to annexe people, not just land

29 June 2024

9:00 AM

29 June 2024

9:00 AM

On 1 September 2021, six months before his full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin was speaking at the All-Russian Children’s Centre, known as ‘Ocean’, near the harbour city of Vladivostok. He turned to a topic that obviously haunted him during his long Covid-19 isolation. He told his audience of children that Russia’s population could have been about half a billion today, rather than the current 146 million, if it hadn’t been for the shocks of the past century: two world wars, the Bolshevik Revolution and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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