President Vladimir Putin has compared himself to Former Russian Tsar Peter the Great in his latest remarks justifying the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
What Happened: On the 350th birth anniversary of the emperor, Putin said when Peter the Great waged war against Sweden in the 1700s, he was not conquering but returning land that rightfully belonged to the Soviet Union. Suggesting that he was doing the same thing in Ukraine.
"Peter the Great waged the Great Northern War for 21 years. It would seem that he was at war with Sweden; he took something from them. He did not take anything from them; he returned (what was Russia's)," Putin said in televised comments, according to Reuters.
"Apparently, it also fell to us to return (what is Russia's) and strengthen (the country). And if we proceed from the fact that these basic values form the basis of our existence, we will certainly succeed in solving the tasks that we face," he added.
The comments came as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continued for over three months now.
Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in response to the land theft comments by Putin, said, "the West must draw a clear red line, so the Kremlin understands the price of each next bloody step ... we will brutally liberate our territories."
Why It Matters: Putin has repeatedly sought to justify his actions of invading Ukraine, where his forces have killed tens and thousands of civilians and have made millions homeless.
A senior Ukrainian presidential aide told the BBC that Ukraine is losing 100 and 200 troops every day on the front line.
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