Russian President Vladimir Putin used a Friday speech to promise that international forces would not topple Moscow from its place of power.
"The bear is the master of the taiga," Putin said in the speech, reported by the Los Angeles Times. "It is not going to move to another climate. It's not going to give up its taiga to anyone."
Speaking to Russian scholars during the country's annual Valdai International Discussion Club, Putin jumped back and forth between claiming that he only wants international respect for his country, and warning the West against interference into the Kremlin's operations.
"The Cold War is over. But it did not end with peace," Putin said.
He blamed the United States for ongoing conflicts in countries such as Syria and Iraq, and he suggested that Washington's role in Ukraine amounted to a "coup d'etat" of former president Viktor Yanukovich, who was supported by Moscow and ousted from power in February. Putin also dismissed accusations that Russia is supporting separatist militants in eastern Ukraine.
"Statements that Russia is trying to reinstate some sort of empire encroaching on the sovereignty of neighbors, are groundless," he said.