Published On: Wed, May 24th, 2023
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Desperate Putin turns to 400 year old maps to justify invasion of Ukraine | World | News

Vladimir Putin has resorted to an ancient map dating back to the reign of French king Louis XIV in an attempt to justify the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine. Valery Zorkin, the Chairman of the Russian Constitutional Court, presented Putin with the map in the Kremlin leading commentators to jokingly suggest that Putin and Zorkin examine ancient English maps featuring mythical creatures and depicting the earth as flat.

Russian news outlet RBC reported on a segment aired on the television channel Russia 24, where Putin commented on the topic of the “non-existent Ukraine” during the meeting with Zorkin.

Zorkin presented Putin with a copy of the map purportedly created in the mid-17th century.

According to Zorkin, he showed the map to Putin to illustrate that “there is no Ukraine there”.

Instead, the map depicted the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, “Cossackia,” and the Kingdom of Muscovy.

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Putin responded by saying: “These lands were simply part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and then they were asked to become part of the Kingdom of Muscovy… And it was only later, after the October Revolution, that quasi-state formations began to form.

“The Soviet government created Soviet Ukraine. There was never any Ukraine in the history of humanity up to that point.”

Putin frequently makes fictitious historical assertions that Ukraine was a made-up country created during the USSR’s founding.

For instance, he restated this position in September 2022 while speaking with children at a school meeting.

Meanwhile, the head of the Russian private army Wagner says his force lost more than 20,000 fighters in the drawn-out battle for Bakhmut, with about 20 per cent of the 50,000 Russian convicts he recruited to fight in the 15-month war dying in the eastern Ukrainian city.

The figure was in stark contrast with widely disputed claims from Moscow that it lost just over 6,000 troops in the war, and is higher than the official estimate of the Soviet losses in the Afghanistan war of 15,000 troops between 1979-89.

Ukraine hasn’t said how many of its soldiers have died since Russia‘s full-scale invasion in February 2022.

Analysts believe the nine-month fight for Bakhmut alone has cost the lives of tens of thousands of soldiers, among them convicts who reportedly received little training before being sent to the front.

Russia’s invasion goal of “demilitarizing” Ukraine has backfired because Kyiv’s military has become stronger with the supply of weapons and training by its Western allies, Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin said in an interview published late Tuesday with Konstantin Dolgov, a pro-Kremlin political strategist.

Prigozhin also said the Kremlin’s forces have killed civilians during the war, something Moscow has repeatedly and vehemently denied.

Prigozhin, a wealthy businessman with longtime links to Russian President Vladimir Putin, is known for his bluster — often spiced with obscenities — and has previously made unverifiable claims, some of which he later backtracked on.

Earlier this month, his spokespeople published a video of him shouting, swearing and pointing at about 30 uniformed bodies lying on the ground, saying they were Wagner fighters who died in a single day. He claimed the Russian Defense Ministry had starved his men of ammunition and threatened to give up the fight for Bakhmut.

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