Russian President Vladimir Putin
© Global Look Press / Kremlin Pool
Russia's president has criticized the West as the country faces a new massive wave of sanctions

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called the West an "empire of lies," responding to a new wave of sanctions that have hit the country over its military attack on neighboring Ukraine.

Speaking to top government officials on Monday, he said:
"I invited you to discuss economic and financial issues ... bearing in mind the sanctions that the so-called Western community — an empire of lies, as I called it in my address — is trying to implement against our country."
The "empire of lies" term was coined by Russia's president last Thursday, when he announced the launch of the offensive in Ukraine. Since the US is a "system-forming power," the whole collective West has become such an "empire," he said then.
"By the way, American politicians, political scientists, and journalists themselves write and say that, in recent years, an actual 'empire of lies' has been created inside the United States. It's hard to disagree with that, as it's true," Putin stated.
All [the US] satellites not only dutifully agree, sing along to its music, but also copy its behavior, and enthusiastically accept the rules they are offered. Therefore, with good reason, we can confidently say that the entire so-called Western bloc, formed by the United States in its own image and likeness, all of it is an 'empire of lies.'
Russia's offensive in Ukraine has become the only option left to prevent further bloodshed in the country and stop Kiev from trying to launch an all-out assault on the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk in the country's east, the Kremlin has claimed. Ahead of the attack, Moscow formally recognized the People's Republics of the Donbass as independent states.

Kiev, however, claimed the attack was "unprovoked," insisting it has had zero plans to retake the breakaway regions by force. Donetsk and Lugansk split from Ukraine back in 2014 following the Maidan, which ousted the democratically-elected government of the country. While active, large-scale combat ended with the 2014-15 Minsk agreements, the roadmap out of the crisis the deal had provided was never implemented, with the republics enduring years of low-intensity warfare that left thousands of people dead.