From Argumenty i fakty, July 13, 2022, p. 18. Complete text:

On Monday, [July 11], the State Duma Council scheduled an extraordinary meeting of the lower house for July 15,where the most recent initiatives from the government and [Duma] deputies will be considered, said State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin.

According to him, 42 bills have been submitted to the parliament for consideration since July 4, and 86 have been submitted in just the last two weeks. The Duma deputies do not want to postpone adopting them until the fall. They are mainly about supporting the economic sector and providing social protection for citizens, including military personnel.

‘You worked together.

Meanwhile, [Russian President] Vladimir Putin gave his moral support to parliamentarians last week. At a meeting with State Duma leadership and the heads of party factions, the president praised the deputies, among other things, for their active patriotic stance. “You worked together competently and at a rapid pace. I believe that all the factions have confirmed their political viability and maturity, and acted in a consolidated and united manner – like real Russian statesmen and patriots, for whom any interparty differences recede into the background under difficult conditions. Because we have many parties, but one Motherland, and nothing is more important than the fate of the Fatherland.”

“I know that many deputies, having officially gone on vacation, went to the war zone [in Ukraine] in order to personally establish the supply of food, medicines and essential items, often at real risk to their own lives, and to quickly build humanitarian aid centers,” Putin added. “Some of your colleagues are still there, working as volunteers.”

‘We haven’t started yet.

The president also made a number of other notable statements about the ongoing special operation in Ukraine [see Vol. 74, No. 8, pp. 9‑13] and Western countries’ policies toward Russia.

“They didn’t just try to hurt the Russian economy as much as possible; their goal was to sow discord and turmoil in our society and to demoralize people. But even in this they miscalculated: It didn’t work, and I am sure it will not work,” Putin said.

He considers what is happening to be “a new stage in the fight against Russia.” “We are being told that we started the war in the Donetsk Basin and Ukraine. No, it was unleashed by the very same collective West that organized and supported an unconstitutional armed coup in Ukraine in 2014, and then encouraged and justified the genocide against people in the Donetsk Basin. The collective West is the direct instigator and the culprit of what is happening today.”

“Today we hear that they want to defeat us on the battlefield. What do you here say? Let them try it. We have already heard a lot about how the West wants to fight us ‘to the last Ukrainian.’ It is a tragedy for the Ukrainian people, but it seems that this is where everything is headed. However, everyone should know that, by and large, we haven’t started anything serious yet,” the president said.

At the same time, according to the head of state, Russia is not refusing peace negotiations either. “But those who refuse [to negotiate with us] should know that the further [the war goes], the more difficult it will be for them to negotiate with us.”