On Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin, whose picture was displayed between two enormous images of an old Orthodox icon, issued a warning to the West that any foreign interference in Russia prior to the March 2024 elections will be viewed as an act of aggression.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has resulted in the biggest dispute between Russia and the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, which caused Putin to shift his focus to China.
Putin has rewritten the history of the war since the invasion, portraying it to be an existential conflict between Russian civilization and the arrogant West, which he claims is in a state of cultural, economic, and political collapse.
Putin's image was displayed on a massive screen next to two replicas of an old Orthodox icon as he addressed the World Russian People's Council, which was led by Patriarch Kirill, the head of Russia's Orthodox church. These icons are highly decorated, often gold-colored religious paintings that are revered in Orthodox churches.
In his vision for the country's national character, Putin has embraced the conservative views of the Russian Orthodox Church, which is an active institutional backer of Russia's war against Ukraine.
The head of the Kremlin said that Russophobia, a racist ideology that portrays Russians as "slaves" from the past, is rife in the West. He also claimed that the US was supposedly planning to divide and pillage Russia's abundant resources.
The 71-year-old Putin issued a warning, saying that Russians themselves needed to keep in mind the lessons learned from the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, the civil war, and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, which he claimed had made it possible for the Russian people to be divided.
Putin said that they consider any outside interference and provocations intended for creating inter-ethnic or inter-religious confrontations as aggressive action against their country, and they will not allow anybody to divide Russia.
Putin is portrayed by the West as a despot who has united the West and given NATO a post-Cold War mandate, while at the same time weakening Russia and fostering Ukrainian statehood with an imperial-style land grab.
According to Putin, both the West's effort to defeat Russia and its present actions in Ukraine are failing.
The head of the Kremlin stated that he believed there was historical racism in the West against Russians and that attempts to isolate Russia with the most severe sanctions ever placed on a major economy proved this.
While denying any desire to destroy Russia, the West has stated that it supports Ukraine in defeating Russian forces on Ukrainian soil, expelling Russian soldiers, and holding Putin accountable for the conflict.
Putin expressed gratitude to Russian businessmen for dodging Western sanctions.
He said that they were able to stop the West's unprecedented economic aggression by working together across the state and business; the West's sanctions blitzkrieg was unsuccessful.
He is anticipated to run in the upcoming presidential election, which is scheduled to begin next month. If he does, it would mean that the previous KGB spy, who has ruled since 2012 and from 2000 to 2008, will be in office for no less than another six years.
Patriarch Kirill declared that he would pray for Putin to carry on with his efforts for the benefit of the country and its citizens.