"These Storms Will Contribute to Russia's Glory": Putin Holds Giant Rally in Packed Moscow StadiumChris Menahan
Mar. 19, 2022
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Vladimir Putin spoke during a concert celebrating eight years since Crimea's reunification with Russia at the Luzhniki Sports Centre in Moscow on Friday.
Putin said the "main goal and motive of the military operation that we launched in Donbass and Ukraine" was to liberate the people of Donbass from the "genocide" Ukraine was inflicting through years of "systemic shelling with artillery and bombing by aircraft."
"The main goal and motive of the military operation that we launched in Donbass and Ukraine is to relieve these people of suffering, of this genocide," Putin said. "At this point, I recall the words from the Holy Scripture: 'Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.'"
"It so happened that, by sheer coincidence, the start of the operation was same day as the birthday of one of our outstanding military leaders who was canonised – Fedor Ushakov," Putin said. "He did not lose a single battle throughout his brilliant career. He once said that these thunderstorms would glorify Russia. This is how it was in his time; this is how it is today and will always be!"
You can watch the full speech with subtitles here (embedding is disabled).
Roughly 200,000 people were in attendance, according to Moscow authorities.
The end of Putin's speech got cut off due to a technical glitch (the above videos have it) and had to be reaired a few minutes later.
Official translation via the Kremlin:
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: "We, the multi-ethnic nation of the Russian Federation, united by common fate on our land..." These are the first words of our fundamental law, the Russian Constitution. Each word has deep meaning and enormous significance.Russia's oligarchs are fleeing to Israel and Putin is amassing total power.
Putin's approval rating in Russia has surged to 71 percent in two separate polls.
If he manages to survive the sanctions onslaught and secure a victory in Ukraine, Russia is going to be in a remarkable position.
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