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Updated March 18th, 2022 at 14:05 IST

Putin issues warning to Moscow's 'traitors'; says 'Russia would spit them out like gnats'

Amid the ongoing Russia Ukraine war, the President of Russia, Vladamir Putin, issued a venomous warning to "traitors" on Wednesday.

Ajay Sharma
Putin
Image: AP | Image:self
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Amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, the President of Russia, Vladamir Putin, issued a venomous warning to "traitors" on Wednesday. In a televised address from the Kremlin, the Russian President warned "traitors", saying the West would try to use them as a fifth column to destroy Russia, but that Russians would be able to quickly tell the "patriots from the scum".

In a fiery televised address from the Kremlin nearly three weeks after Moscow's invasion, Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened that the West would use 'people who earn their money here but live over there' as a 'fifth column' to split Russian society.

On Wednesday, in his comments to government ministers, Vladimir Putin said that Russians would spit out traitors "like gnats", and society would be the better with it.

"I am convinced that this natural and necessary self-cleansing of society will only strengthen our country, our solidarity, cohesion and readiness to meet any challenge,"  Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

Dmitry Peskov: 'That is how this cleansing happens'

A day after Putin's televised warning, Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, when asked about the warnings from Putin, said that many people were showing themselves to be traitors. "They are vanishing from our lives themselves. Some people are leaving their posts, some are leaving their active work life, some leave the country and move to other countries. That is how this cleansing happens," Peskov said. 

Dmitry Ivanov, a Moscow-based activist, said his mother saw a graffiti message on the door to their apartment mere hours after the speech, stating "Don't betray the motherland, Dima." The graffiti included multiple "Z" signs, which have been used to rally support for Moscow's "special military operation" to disarm and "denazify" Ukraine. 

"I don't know their aims: to frighten, not to frighten, or just to spoil your mood. It's hard to scare us with such actions because we're used to this kind of attention," the 22-year-old activist told Reuters. "It's possible this action was to complement Putin's speech, I think that's possible. Especially considering how shoddily, and cheaply these markings were done. It was done in a hurry," he further added.

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Published March 18th, 2022 at 14:05 IST

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