Russian President Vladimir Putin gave strongly worded comments on Russians who he says betray their country by holding a pro-Western worldview:
"They [the West] will certainly be counting on the 'fifth column,' on national traitors.
On people who earn money here and live there.
They don’t live there in the geographic sense, but in their thoughts, in their slave mentality.
I don’t have anything against people who have a villa in Miami or on the French Riviera.
People who can’t live without foie gras, oysters or what they call 'gender freedom.'
That’s not the problem at all.
The problem is that in essence, their mentality is there, not here, with our people.
Not with Russia.
They think it’s a sign they belong to a higher caste, to a higher race.
Such people are ready to sell their own mother if only they are allowed to sit in the hallway of this very highest caste.
They want to be just like them and imitate them in everything.
But they forget or just completely fail to see that even if this so-called superior caste needs them, it needs them as expendable raw material to inflict maximum damage on our people.
The collective West is trying to divide our society using, to its own advantage, combat losses and the socioeconomic consequences of the sanctions, and to provoke civil unrest in Russia and use its fifth column in an attempt to achieve this goal.
As I mentioned earlier, their goal is to destroy Russia.
But any nation, and even more so the Russian people, will always be able to distinguish true patriots from scum and traitors and will simply spit them out like an insect in their mouth, spit them onto the pavement.
I am convinced that a natural and necessary self-detoxification of society like this would strengthen our country, our solidarity and cohesion and our readiness to respond to any challenge."