Putin Rails Against West in State-of-the-Nation Address

KYIV: Russian President Vladimir Putin in the parliament accused the west of ‘playing a dirty game’. The accusations came a day after US President Joe Biden’s surprise visit to the war-torn nation ahead of its anniversary. He said the West deceived their own people with “total unprincipled lies’ about what is happening in Donbas.

Putin has frequently justified his invasion of Ukraine by accusing Western countries of threatening Russia. They say nothing could be further from the truth and that Moscow’s forces attacked Ukraine unprovoked.

While the Constitution mandates that the president deliver a speech annually, Putin never gave one in 2022, as his troops rolled into Ukraine and suffered repeated setbacks. Now the address comes days before the war’s first anniversary on Friday.

Before the speech, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Russian leader would focus on the “special military operation” in Ukraine, as Moscow calls it, and Russia’s economy and social issues.

The Kremlin this year has barred media from “unfriendly” countries, the list of which includes the US, the UK, and those in the EU. Peskov said journalists from those nations will be able to cover the speech by watching the broadcast.

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