Russian President Vladimir Putin blasted the West in his long-delayed state of the nation address on Tuesday, a speech that is expected to set the tone for the rest of the year and shed light on how the Kremlin views its stalled war. in Ukraine.
Putin has frequently justified his invasion of the neighboring country by accusing Western nations of threatening Russia. They point out that this statement could not be further from the truth and maintain that Moscow’s forces attacked Ukraine without any provocation.
“It is they who have started the war. And we are using force to end it,” Putin said in a speech broadcast on all Russian state television.
Although the president is required by the constitution to deliver an annual speech, Putin failed to do so in 2022 as his troops marched into Ukraine and suffered repeated setbacks. This year, the appointment occurs on the eve of the first anniversary of the invasion on Friday.
Before the event, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Russian leader would focus on the “special military operation” in Ukraine, as Moscow calls the operation, and on the country’s economic and social issues. Many observers also expected the speech to address Putin’s confrontation with the West.