Putin says foes hope to dismember Russia; rouble falls as he speaks

December 4, 2014 10:32 AM

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Putin says foes hope to dismember Russia; rouble falls as he speaks

MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin accused Russia's enemies on Thursday of seeking to carve it up and destroy its economy to punish it for growing strong, in an annual state of the union speech that seemed to outdo even his own recent strident nationalism.

The Kremlin leader trumpeted his annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula, praised the Russian people for their strength, accused the West of "pure cynicism" in Ukraine and said economic sanctions must drive Russians to develop their own economy.

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