Russia: Putin reappears before tens of thousands of Russians to defend his war | International
is the headline of the news that the author of WTM News has collected this article. Stay tuned to WTM News to stay up to date with the latest news on this topic. We ask you to follow us on social networks.
Vladimir Putin has given himself a mass bath in defense of the war against Ukraine. On the occasion of the anniversary of the annexation of Crimea in 2014 after an illegal referendum, and under the slogan “For Russia, for a world/peace without Nazism” (look means both words), the Kremlin has organized a concert in the stadium of the 2018 World Cup final where the stands have been seen packed to the brim. There, in an atrium several meters away from the rest of the participants and chanted by the public, the president stressed that his offensive is a “liberating” mission.
Tens of thousands of supporters surrounded the president in a venue that has a capacity of 81,300 people, while several thousand more watched the concert-rally in a tent outside the stadium according to the images. According to the authorities, more than 200,000 spectators followed the event live. “The main objective of the military operation in Donbas and Ukraine has been to liberate the population from genocide,” Putin said of the offensive launched by the Russian armed forces from the Belarusian border to the Black Sea, which has put both the capital, kyiv, like the largest Russian-speaking city in the country, Kharkov.
The broadcast was abruptly interrupted during Putin’s live speech. According to his spokesperson, Dmitri Peskov, a technical error caused the president to disappear in full speech and previous moments of the performance were repeated. A newspaper correspondent Novaya Gazeta who was a direct witness to the act stated that Putin “calmly ended his ideas and left the stage”.
“There is no greater love than giving one’s soul for friends,” said the Russian president, who stressed that his military “cover each other in Ukraine.” “We haven’t had this unit for a long time,” he told the audience. The total number of Russian casualties in Ukraine is unknown. The only data published so far by the Ministry of Defense dates back to March 2, when it revealed that until then they had counted 498 deaths in their ranks. Putin quoted a famous Russian admiral, Fyodor Ushakov, as saying that “all storms go to the greater glory of Russia.” “That’s how it was, that’s how it is today, and that’s how it will always be,” he pointed out.
In the act there was no lack of flags or the symbol of the defenders of the war, the Z, which went viral before the invasion began for appearing painted on the tanks and trucks deployed by the Russians on the border with Ukraine. The badge to differentiate friends from enemies was one of the signs of the imminence of the attack that was most widely spread on social networks. Later, it was adopted by the Russian authorities and state media as a symbol to promote the slogan “for victory” (“za pobedu”in Russian) and support for Putin (“za president”).
Join EL PAÍS to follow all the news and read without limits.
Today, the Z is a controversial symbol that divides Russians and one of the forms of propaganda most used by the Kremlin in this conflict: from t-shirts for sale in the stores of state channels to lines of children who form the letter in the schools.
“Scum and traitors”
Putin made other controversial remarks on Wednesday in which he divided his compatriots into those who support the Kremlin, which he identified with Russia, and those who betray the country. During a videoconference in which new measures were discussed in the face of the crisis unleashed by sanctions, the president said that the Russian people “will always be able to distinguish the true patriots from “the scum and the traitors”, with whom they will simply do the same as if he had an insect in his mouth: he will spit them out “on the sidewalk”.
The president predicted a “natural and necessary self-detoxification of society” that, in his opinion, will strengthen his country “in the face of any challenge that arises.” A day later, on Thursday, his spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, pointed out that with this alleged cleaning he was not only referring to businessmen “who make money” in Russia, but “live there”, as Putin said, but also to all Russians who They reject what is happening. “Someone quitting their job, someone leaving active duty, someone leaving the country and moving to another state. This is how this purification happens. Someone who breaks the law and is punished according to court decisions,” said the spokesman, also referring to the protesters.
This is the second year in a row that Putin has participated in the Luzhniki Stadium rally-concert. In 2021, the Russian president gave another speech before thousands of people despite restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic. That mass event was an exception, since other demonstrations, such as the protests that arose after the arrest of the opponent Alexei Navalni, had not been authorized under the pretext of the health crisis.
Singers such as Grígori Leps and Liubé participated in this Friday’s concert, and some groups from the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, the separatist territories of Ukraine that the Kremlin recognized to justify its beautiful case against Kyiv. ”I grew up in the USSR, my life is in the USSR. Rockets, the best ballet, the most beautiful girls on the planet and victory in World War II”, one of the bands sang in chorus with the public, while other groups interpreted old war songs. “Go ahead, Russia! Source of strength!” was another of the chanted songs.
Follow all the international information in Facebook and Twitteror in our weekly newsletter.