National concert in Moscow
Putin: Russia is fighting for its “historic lands”
02/22/2023 at 4:12 PM
“The fight for our people in the heart of our historic lands continues.” A day after his State of the Nation speech, the Kremlin chief once again used his appearance at a concert at the Luzhniki Olympic Stadium for patriotic slogans. Children from Mariupol also go on stage.
At a national rally in Moscow, Kremlin President Vladimir Putin reiterated his view that the Russian military is in Ukraine to retake lands that are “historically” owned by Russia. Putin said at the concert at the Luzhniki Olympic Stadium that Russia is fighting for its “historic lands” in Ukraine.
“Today the (military) hierarchy informed me that there are ongoing battles for our people in the heart of our historical regions,” the head of state said in his speech, which lasted a few minutes. He praised the Russian soldiers deployed to Ukraine for their “heroic” and “courageous” fighting, saying, “We are proud of you.” In his state of the nation address the previous day, Putin had accused the West of bearing “total” responsibility for the escalation in Ukraine. He said the West wanted to “get rid of Russia once and for all”.
The ceremony in support of the military operation in Ukraine was called “Honoring the Defenders of the Fatherland” and was organized by the authorities. Tens of thousands of people took part in the freezing cold, with temperatures reaching minus 15 degrees. Hundreds of Russian flags waved in the crowd. This event came before Defender of the Fatherland Day, which is celebrated in Russia on Thursday. Friday marks the first anniversary of the start of Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
Patriotic songs were performed on the stage. In addition to Putin, the fighters deployed on the Ukrainian front also addressed the crowd. In addition, children from Ukraine – especially from Mariupol – climbed onto the stage, crowding around a Russian military man. He shouted to the crowd: “We will win!” Russia is accused of kidnapping thousands of Ukrainian children from the occupied territories. Moscow, which considers these regions to be Russian, denies the allegations and speaks of a completely legal adoption.