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“We will achieve our goals.” This was guaranteed by Vladimir Putin, in his speech to the Federal Assembly in Moscow. Russia, he assured, will “systematically” continue the offensive in Ukraine. The Russian president is speaking in Parliament, before the two chambers together. “I speak at a very complex and decisive moment, of radical changes that will define the future of our country and people. On each of us there is a huge responsibility to defend our country and liquidate the threat of the neo-Nazi regime”, Putin said. And he added that Russia wanted a peaceful solution in Ukraine to avoid military intervention, but the West was playing “with false cards” to deceive Moscow (WAR IN UKRAINE: THE SPECIAL – UPDATES).
Putin: Ukraine “wanted to acquire nuclear weapons”
The war in Ukraine, as experts predicted, is one of the main topics of Putin’s speech. Ukraine “wanted to acquire nuclear weapons”, said the Russian president, explaining the reasons for the military operation launched a year ago. “We had no doubts that in February they had punitive operations ready in the Donbass, where they had already carried out bombings, and this was in contradiction with the UN resolution. They started the war, we use force to stop it”, he added in his speech to the federal assembly. Among the reasons for the conflict, the Russian president also spoke of the fact that Kiev “not only wanted to attack the Donbass but also Crimea”. “The Ukrainian people are held hostage by the Nazi regime in Kiev”, Putin underlined.
Putin is speaking at Gostiny Dvor in Moscow, a building not far from Red Square, in front of the two Chambers of Parliament. This is his first speech on the state of the nation in almost two years: the last time, Tass recalls, was in April 2021, while last year the appointment was skipped due to the beginning of the Ukrainian conflict. The Russian president solemnly addresses the parliamentarians of the Federal Assembly, the highest authorities of the country, the government, the governors of the regions, the members of the constitutional and supreme courts, the heads of the general prosecutor’s office, religious leaders and also a delegation of soldiers returning from what in Moscow they call a “special military operation” in Ukraine. No foreign dignitaries have been invited and the speech is aimed at a domestic audience. As for the media, the Kremlin has decided to invite “only Russian journalists and journalists from friendly countries”.