G7 Leaders: Putin is on the wrong side of history

February 24, 2022 The Group of Seven leaders on Thursday said that Russian President Vladimir Putin has put himself on the “wrong side of history” with the invasion of Ukraine. Russia’s unprovoked full scale attack on a sovereign nation is believed to be a power grab by Putin to gain control of more land. Putin has referred to Ukraine as illegitimate and maintains that the land belongs to Russia.

Russia’s large scale military attack on Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital and other major cities, is Vladimir Putin’s boldest attempt yet to redraw the global security map and restore Russia’s sphere of influence to the days of the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact, more than 30 years ago.

When asked if Ukrainian forces are capable of defending the country, Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Vadym Prystaiko, on Thursday told reporters that the country currently does not have enough military equipment to defend itself.

“At this particular moment, we have enough people; we don’t have enough equipment,” Prystaiko said.


As recently as Monday, Vladimir Putin called Ukraine an illegitimate country that exists on land that historically and rightfully belongs to Russia.  The claim is one that Putin has repeatedly voiced since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. In 2005, in his annual address to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Putin wrote:

“the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century. As for the Russian nation, it became a genuine drama. Tens of millions of our co-citizens and compatriots found themselves outside Russian territory. Moreover, the epidemic of disintegration infected Russia itself.”

The New York Times found several other references by Vladimir Putin in which he described Ukraine as “artificial” and “not even a state” that indicated he may be considering a move to intervene in Ukraine and serving to justify a wider invasion.


While Ukraine did declare independence following the end of the U.S.S.R., it also declared itself a neutral state and formed a limited military partnership with Russia and other CIS countries while also establishing a partnership with NATO in 1994. Although Ukraine is not a member, NATO describes reations with Ukraine as one of the most substantial of NATO’s partnerships. Since 2014, in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, cooperation has been intensified in critical areas.

Ukraine’s relations with NATO lead to President Putin increasing insistent requests for guarantees that Ukraine will never join NATO and threats by the Kremlin of a “military response” if their demands were not met. Putin has voiced opposition to Ukraine joining NATO in the past, but due to the unlikeliness that Ukraine will ever become a full member of NATO, the recent claims were largely seen as another excuse to invade.


In an unexpected broadcast on Russian state television before dawn on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that the two self-proclaimed “people’s republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk, in the breakaway Ukrainian region of Donbas “turned to Russia with a request for help.” In response, he said Russia would launch a  “special military operation”: to “demilitarize” and “denazifiy” Ukraine.

The move comes less than two days after Putin officially recognized Donetsk and Luhansk as independent.



The United States Department of State calls Putin’s claim that Ukraine and Ukrainian government officials are the aggressor in the Russia-Ukraine relationship a lie.

European Union leaders are expected to announce a package of humanitarian support for Ukraine later on Thursday as well as sanctions against Russia.