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Putin Justifies War During Crimea Annexation Anniversary

Putin during the celebration. / AFP

“After the coup in kyiv, punitive military operations were immediately organized against the inhabitants of Donbass for not agreeing with the coup,” the Russian president assured.

Russian President Vladimir Putin went today to the Moscow Luzhniki stadium to participate in the rally-concert on the occasion of the eighth anniversary of the annexation of Crimea. The stadium has a capacity for 80,000 spectators, but the Russian Interior Ministry says that today there were more than 200,000.

In his speech, Putin stated that “the main goal of the current special operation in Ukraine is to save people from this suffering, from this genocide.” In his words, “after the coup in kyiv, punitive military operations were immediately organized against the inhabitants of Donbass for not agreeing with the coup.”

The Russian president said Donbass residents “were subjected to systematic cannon fire, air strikes, besieged, what is known as a genocide.” “But we knew what to do and what we have to continue doing now (…) we will carry out our plans to the end,” he added, alluding to his intention to continue the war until the total capitulation of Ukraine.

He also spoke of “how much we have done in these eight years to raise Crimea and Sevastopol.” “We have done things that are not immediately visible to the naked eye and are fundamental: gas supply, energy supply, community services, reconstruction of the road network, construction of new roads, highways and new bridges (…) it was necessary to get out of that humiliating situation, of that humiliating state in which Crimea and Sevastopol were immersed when they were part of this other state that financed these territories according to the so-called residual principle, “said the head of the Kremlin amid applause from those present.

Putin’s intervention was abruptly interrupted without having finished. A few seconds later, the signal was restored and he was no longer on stage, which indicates that the transmission was not live, but with a certain delay. Shortly after, the Russian public channel Rossiya 24 once again offered the speech of the Russian president during the rally, already in full, but on a delayed basis. Maybe it was trying to hide something in the beginning or it was a technical failure of the broadcast.

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