Putin Says Russia Fighting for ‘Historical Lands’ at Pro-War Rally

President Vladimir Putin said Russia is fighting for its “historical lands” on Wednesday as the country approaches the one year anniversary of its bloody invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking at a state-organized concert the day before Defender of the Fatherland Day, which is a national holiday, Putin delivered a notably short address to a crowd of tens of thousands.

“I’ve just been hearing from the highest military command that at this very moment there is an ongoing fight on our historical lands, for our people. It is led by similarly brave fighters to the ones standing beside us here right now,” he said, flanked by Russian soldiers.

The president’s speech — which lasted less than five minutes — was preceded by performances from pro-war artists, Russian military veterans and a group of Ukrainian children apparently from the city of Mariupol, which was devastated in the early months of the invasion.

READ MORE: https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2023/02/22/putin-says-russia-fighting-for-historical-lands-at-pro-war-rally-a80306