RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin yesterday claimed that Russia is under threat from others who wish to split the country and take its vast natural resources.
And in a veiled reference to the United States, he claimed there were others who would like to "rule over all mankind".
Speaking in front of Moscow's iconic St Basil's Cathedral in Red Square, Mr Putin told a group of military cadets and youth group members that while "an overwhelming majority of people in the world" are friendly toward Russia, there are some who "keep saying to this day that our nation should be split".
"Some believe that we are too lucky to possess so much natural wealth, which they say must be divided," Mr Putin said, speaking on National Unity Day.
"These people have lost their mind," he added with a smile.
Mr Putin in the same breath took a shot at the United States, saying there are people who "would like to build a unipolar world and rule over all of mankind". He said any attempt to establish a unipolar world was doomed to fail.
"Nothing of this kind has ever occurred in our planet's history, and I don't think it will ever happen," the president said.
Such talk is typical for Mr Putin, who criticises the United States for the invasion of Iraq.
National Unity Day was created by Mr Putin in 2005 to replace a holiday dedicated to the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution that had been celebrated on 7 November.