Russian President Vladimir Putin pressed one of his top spy chiefs during a meeting with Russia’s top security officials on recognition for rebel-held regions of Ukraine, on Monday to clarify his somewhat premature remarks made earlier.
After Russia sent troops into two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine, the US and UK say that country’s order to deploy troops amounts to the “beginning of an invasion.”
Discussion on social media overwhelmingly touched upon Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Director Sergey Naryshkin’s slip-up regarding the exact wording about this event — and a tense exchange with Putin on live television.
he accidentally got a little ahead on the script. recall that Russia also "recognized" Crimea as independent for a couple days before it could then "ask" to join Russia
— ياعيل 🇺🇦 יעל (@ya3il82) February 22, 2022
Putin asks flustered spy chief to clarify remarks
“In the worst case, we must make the decision that we are discussing today,” Naryshkin said. “What does it mean? ‘In the worst case.’ Are you suggesting we start negotiations?” Putin said. “No,” Naryshkin said. “Or to recognize sovereignty?” Putin said.
As Naryshkin shared his views on the current situation, Putin repeatedly asked him to clarify what he was saying and told him to “speak plainly,” but Naryshkin continued to stumble.
“I will support the proposal about the recognition of (Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples’ Republics into the Russian Federation),” Naryshkin said. “We’re not talking about that. We’re not discussing that,” Putin parried. “We’re talking about recognizing their independence or not.”
Naryshkin finally understood what Putin was trying to say, at the very end, agreeing that he supported their “independence.”
“Yes! I support the proposal to recognize their independence,” Naryshkin said. “Good! Please, you can sit down now. Thank you!” Putin said.
Transcript of Putin, spy chief’s tense interchange
Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Russia Sergey Naryshkin: With the suggestion of Nikolai Platonovich (Patrushev), that we could give our, how to say it, Western partners, one last chance.
Naryshkin: Presenting them with the choice, in the shortest time frame to force Kyiv to choose peace and implement the Minsk agreements.
Naryshkin: In the worst case, we must make the decision that we are discussing today.
Putin: What does it mean? “In the worst case.” Are you suggesting we start negotiations?
Naryshkin: Uh. No, I, uh…
Putin: Or to recognize sovereignty?
Naryshkin: Uh, I. I… will-
Putin: Speak, speak, speak — plainly!
Naryshkin: I will support the proposal about the recognition of-
Putin: “I will support”? or “I support”? Speak plainly, Sergey!
Naryshkin: I support the proposal-
Putin: Then say it like that! Yes or no?
Naryshkin: Yes! I support the proposal about the entry of the Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples’ Republics into the Russian Federation.
Putin: We’re not talking about that. We’re not discussing that. We’re talking about recognizing their independence or not.
Naryshkin: Yes! I support the proposal to recognize their independence.
Putin: Good! Please, you can sit down now. Thank you!
WATCH: Putin, spy chief’s humiliating press conference
Since I haven't found an English version online, I've added subtitles to Putin's humiliation of his spy chief during today's grotesque security council meeting in the Kremlin. pic.twitter.com/bFx25nWzTK
— Peter Liakhov (@peterliakhov) February 21, 2022