Published On: Fri, Mar 8th, 2024

Desperate Putin hit out at EU country amid frozen assets debate with false history lesson | World | News

Vladimir Putin delivered yet another history lesson with no basis in reality, seemingly to take a swipe at a European country.

The Russian President took part on Wednesday at the World Youth Festival, an event held near Sochi aimed at bringing together young people from both Russia and the rest of the world.

During his public appearance, Putin answered a question asked by a Belgian national, which prompted the Russian leader to bizarrely claim that Belgium first “appeared on the world map as an independent state, largely thanks to Russia and Russia‘s position”.

This strange claim finds no truth in reality, as when in 1830 Belgians rose against the Kingdom of the Netherlands to achieve independence, Russia sided with the Dutch monarch.

Tsar Nicholas I, the then-Russian ruler, was even considering sending troops to quash the Belgian rebellion, but could not follow through with his plans as in that same year young Polish officers rose against the Russian Empire.

Many Poles left partitioned Poland to beef up the ranks of the blossoming Belgian military forces.

Russia did accept Belgium’s independence at the London Conference in 1830, but Putin’s claims are difficult to back up.

Putin is known to use history for propaganda purposes and to justify his political stances.

The decision to hit out at Belgium’s history may be linked to the fact the country is currently home to the majority of the Russian assets frozen following the illegal invasion of Ukraine ordered by the Kremlin.

Of the £219billion of Russian assets immobilised in Japan and the Western world, around £161bn are being held at the clearing house Euroclear in Belgium.

These funds may eventually be used to help rebuild Ukraine if Western nations agree to deliver them to Kyiv.

Prior to this week, Putin has tried to justify his invasion of Ukraine by weaponising history.

He has falsely claimed multiple times, including in an essay he released in 2021 and in his interview with US media personality Tucker Carlson, that Ukraine historically belongs to Russia.

During the same interview with the former Fox News host, Putin also falsely claimed an “uncooperative” Poland “forced” Adolf Hitler to attack the country in 1939.

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