NewsPutin faces backlash for claiming Belgium's independence due to Russia

Putin faces backlash for claiming Belgium's independence due to Russia

At the World Festival of Youth in Sochi, Vladimir Putin pointed to Belgium.
At the World Festival of Youth in Sochi, Vladimir Putin pointed to Belgium.
Images source: © Getty Images | Contributor
4:02 AM EST, March 7, 2024
"Belgium - as you probably know - appeared on the world map largely thanks to Russia and Russia's stance on it as an independent state," Vladimir Putin stated at the World Festival of Youth in Sochi.
Putin's remarks have stirred a significant reaction in Belgian media, which unanimously highlighted the Russian leader's penchant for misrepresenting historical facts.
"In truth, the so-called role played by Russians in our independence is viewed quite differently," Brussels newspapers and news outlets pointed out, detailing the actual events of the Belgian revolution.

"When the Belgians revolted against Dutch rule in 1830, Russia backed the Netherlands. Then, the tsar contemplated sending troops to assist William I in quelling the revolt. However, a simultaneous rebellion against the Russian Empire by the Poles forced the Tsar to abandon his plans, a detail Putin seems to have overlooked," summarized Het Laatste Nieuws (HLN).

"Attention, Belgium!" Anton Geraschenko, an advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, warned on social media. He shared a clip from the Sochi meeting featuring "Putin's latest geopolitical revelation."

Putin's remark about Belgium wasn't the only controversial statement he made during his dialogue with the World Festival of Youth participants.

"I am convinced that the reunion (of Russians and Ukrainians - ed.), at least on a spiritual level, is bound to happen and is inevitable," Putin was quoted by the Russian government agency Tass.
Sources: Het Laatste Nieuws, X, Tass
Related content