Putin Vows to Continue Onslaught as Russia-Ukraine War Nears 1 Year 

Putin Vows to Continue Onslaught as Russia-Ukraine War Nears 1 Year (News Central TV)

Only one day after US President Joe Biden‘s visit to Kyiv, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a state of the country speech on Tuesday in Moscow as the Ukrainian offensive approaches its one-year anniversary on February 24.

President Joe Biden’s visit to Ukraine

Putin has regularly claimed that Western nations are a threat to Russia in order to justify his invasion of his neighbour. Nothing could be further from the truth, according to them, and Moscow’s military assaulted Ukraine without warning.

“It’s they who have started the war. And we are using force to end it,” Putin said before an audience of lawmakers, state officials and soldiers who have fought in Ukraine.

Putin did not give a speech in 2022, despite the Constitution’s need that he do so, as his army advanced into Ukraine and had numerous setbacks. The speech will now be given a few days before Friday, the first anniversary of the war. His address has set the tone for the coming year and revealed the Kremlin’s perspective on its stalemated conflict in Ukraine.

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Top highlights of Russian President Putin’s speech 

1.”We were doing everything possible to solve this problem peacefully, negotiating a peaceful way out of this difficult conflict, but behind our backs, a very different scenario was being prepared,” said Putin in a televised address. 

2.The West is aware that “it is impossible to defeat Russia on the battlefield,” so it launches “aggressive information attacks” by “misconstruing historical facts,” attacking Russian culture, religion and values, Putin said in the speech broadcast by all state TV channels.

3.Citing another justification he has used for the war, Putin claimed his forces are protecting civilians in regions of Ukraine that Moscow has since illegally annexed. “We are defending people’s lives, our home,” he said. 

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4.The Kremlin this year has barred media from “unfriendly” countries, the list of which includes the US, the UK and those in the EU. Peskov said journalists from those nations will be able to cover the speech by watching the broadcast.

5.Senior Russian lawmaker and leader of the nationalist LDPR party Leonid Slutsky was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying that Putin would set priorities “that will deprive our enemies of the hope to defeat Russia, weaken it or try to subdue it to their neo-colonial leadership.”

6.Political analyst Tatyana Stanovaya said the address “was expected to be very hawkish, aimed at defiantly breaking off relations with the West.” In the wake of US President Joe Biden’s visit to Kyiv on Monday, “additional edits can be made to make it even harsher.”

7.Peskov told reporters that the speech’s delay had to do with Putin’s “work schedule,” but Russian media reports linked it to the multiple setbacks Russian forces have suffered on the battlefield in Ukraine.

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8.The Russian president had postponed the state-of-the-nation address before: In 2017, the speech was rescheduled for early 2018.

9.Last year the Kremlin has also cancelled two other big annual events, Putin’s press conference and a highly scripted phone-in marathon where people ask the president questions.

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