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Silvio Berlusconi unleashes another controversy: he defended Vladimir Putin and said that “they pushed him” to invade Ukraine

The former Prime Minister of Italy assured that the President of Russia wanted to “replace the government of Ukraine with one of decent people”

For former Italian head of government and communications tycoon Silvio Berlusconi, Russian President Vladimir Putin was “pushed” to invade Ukraine in order to “replace (Volodimir) Zelensky’s government with a government of decent people.”

That was the explanation he gave on an Italian TV program and further stirred up the hornet’s nest in the midst of the campaign for the general elections this Sunday in his country.




The former Prime Minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, stirred up the hornet’s nest in the middle of the electoral campaign. Photo: REUTERS

“Putin found himself in a really difficult and dramatic situation,” explained Thursday night the leader of Forza Italia (right), who is running in the legislative elections with the favorite coalition along with the extreme right led by Giorgia Meloni.

Berlusconi, who visited Crimea after the province’s annexation by Russia in 2014, is considered “a friend” of Putinwhom he invited on several occasions to his private mansion on the island of Sardinia.

Silvio Berlusconi and Vladimir Putin, in Russia, in an image from 2009.


Silvio Berlusconi and Vladimir Putin, in Russia, in an image from 2009.

Explanation and controversy

“Putin was pushed by the Russian population, his party and his ministers to invent this special operation,” the Italian tycoon said.

“A mission from the two pro-Russian republics of Donbas went to Moscow, spoke with everyone, the radio, the press, television, with people from (Putin’s) party, with ministers, and then in a delegation they told him: ‘Zelensky has intensified the attacks against our forces on our borders. It has already cost 16,000 dead. Please defend us,” he said.

According to Berlusconi, Putin was “pressured by the Russian population, by his party, by his ministers, to participate in this special operation,” he said.

Putin invaded Ukraine because “he fell into a difficult and dramatic situation. I say he fell because it was due to a mission from the two pro-Russian republics of Donbas, which went to Moscow and spoke to everyone, with newspapers, television and ministers,” Berlusconi argued.

“Russian troops had to enter Ukraine, arrive in kyiv in a week, replace the Zelensky government with a government of decent people and return in a week,” explained the tycoon on the popular political program ‘Porta a Porta’.

“Instead, they encountered unexpected resistance which was then fueled with weapons of all kinds by the West,” the former premier stressed.

“The war has already lasted more than 200 days, the situation has become very difficult, I feel bad when I hear about the dead because I have always considered war as the madness of madness,” Berlusconi concluded.

His statements generated all kinds of reactions and criticism.

The general secretary of the Democratic Party (PD), Enrico Letta, stated that “it is unimaginable to listen to these ramblings, which make Putin a pleasure, from a Western leader.”

“After yesterday’s phrases took us out of any Atlantic alliance, they are subversive words. He spoke like a Putin general, it’s something very serious,” said Action leader Carlo Calenda.

For this reason, this Friday he went out to try to put cold cloths on the controversy. Thus, he assured that he considers any war “unjustifiable” and reaffirmed his support for NATO, the European Union and the United States.

Source: AFP and EFE

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