The US and its allies want Russia to be “withering space” like Ukraine, the president has claimed

The West intended to do to Russia what it did to Ukraine and many other nations – turn it into a dying, failed state, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed in a keynote speech on Thursday.

“The West, which has colonial habits and is used to igniting national conflicts all over the world, has intentions that go beyond stalling our development,” the Russian leader told the Federal Assembly, a gathering of leading Russian officials and public figures.

“In place of Russia, they want a dependent, withering, dying space, where they can do whatever they want,” he added.

The Russian people and its national unity in the face of foreign threats is what protects the nation, according to Putin. Meanwhile, the government has the job of protecting institutions at the foundation of national sovereignty.

“We will not allow anyone to interfere in our domestic affairs,” the president vowed.