Tom Harwood: Putin's speech last night was beyond the deluded ramblings of a typical James Bond villain

What we saw last night was a Russian president who is flailing. His 'special military operation' in Ukraine is floundering

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Well the last few weeks in terms of geopolitics has been extraordinary. However, Vladimir Putin's speech last night to the Russian people was extraordinary to behold. Beyond even the deluded ramblings of a typical James Bond villain.

Speaking from the Kremlin

Putin said, "it was possible that the pro-Nazi regime in Kyiv could have got its hands on weapons of mass destruction, and its target, of course, would have been Russia,”

Putin maintains the ludicrous fantasy that Ukraine's government are Nazis bent on committing genocide against Russian-speakers.

President Zelenskyy of course is a liberal politician of jewish heritage. About as far from Nazi as you can possibly get.

What we saw last night was a Russian president who is flailing. His quote 'special military operation' in Ukraine is floundering. The Russian soldiers he sent to kill women and children are being gunned down by the thousands.

Putin said his country was ready to discuss a neutral status for Ukraine in peace talks.

If we take him at his word — although why would we — Putin could now be looking for a way out. With no speedy victory and a logistical nightmare he is now worried about the effect of the sanctions imposed by the entire western world

He knows they will cause economic pain and potentially social unrest.

Putin spoke about inflation and unemployment rising. He knows that he needs a scapegoat for when the economic reality eventually bites down upon the Russian people.

And for him - his scapegoat always has been and always will be the West. Last night he spoke about 'Western traitors' operating in Russia. He described Russians living abroad as 'enemies of the people'.

His was a rambling speech. No doubt a sign of increasing desperation within the walls of the Kremlin. And far from the 'strongman' image he has sought. His were the words of a madman.