| 12.9°C Dublin

Putin tells mass rally that Russia will prevail in Ukraine amid fears he will unleash ‘reckless firepower’

Close

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a concert marking the eighth anniversary of Russia's annexation of Crimea at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow (Pic: Reuters)

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a concert marking the eighth anniversary of Russia's annexation of Crimea at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow (Pic: Reuters)

People watch a broadcast of Russian President Vladimir Putin's speech during a concert marking the eighth anniversary of Russia's annexation of Crimea outside Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow (Photo Agency/Vladimir Astapkovich via REUTERS)

People watch a broadcast of Russian President Vladimir Putin's speech during a concert marking the eighth anniversary of Russia's annexation of Crimea outside Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow (Photo Agency/Vladimir Astapkovich via REUTERS)

Russian President Vladimir Putin waves during a concert marking the eighth anniversary of Russia's annexation of Crimea at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow (Photo Agency/Alexander Vilf via REUTERS)

Russian President Vladimir Putin waves during a concert marking the eighth anniversary of Russia's annexation of Crimea at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow (Photo Agency/Alexander Vilf via REUTERS)

/

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a concert marking the eighth anniversary of Russia's annexation of Crimea at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow (Pic: Reuters)

Frustrated by fierce Ukrainian resistance, Russian forces are now fighting a war of attrition and resorting to “reckless and indiscriminate use of firepower” that will result in more civilian casualties, a top British general has warned.

The UK’s chief of defence intelligence, Lieutenant General Sir Jim Hockenhull, said the Kremlin had been surprised by Ukraine’s military defiance and beset by problems of its own making, prompting a change in tactics more than three weeks into the invasion.

His comments on Friday came as Vladimir Putin delivered a speech at a football stadium in Moscow, where he tried to justify the invasion of Ukraine and praised Russian unity during a conflict that has incurred heavy losses for his troops and spurred an authoritarian crackdown at home.

"We know what we need to do, how to do it and at what cost. And we will absolutely accomplish all of our plans," Putin told a rally at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.

He said the soldiers fighting in what Russia calls its "special military operation" in Ukraine had illustrated the unity of Russia.

"Shoulder to shoulder, they help each other, support each other and when needed they shield each other from bullets with their bodies like brothers. Such unity we have not had for a long time," he said.

As Putin was talking, state television briefly cut away from his speech and showed earlier pre-recorded footage of patriotic songs, but the Kremlin chief later appeared back on state television.

RIA news agency cited Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying a technical fault on a server was the reason state television had suddenly cut away from Putin.

Putin says the operation in Ukraine was necessary because the United States was using the country to threaten Russia and Russia had to defend against the "genocide" of Russian-speaking people by Ukraine.

Daily Digest Newsletter

Get ahead of the day with the morning headlines at 7.30am and Fionnán Sheahan's exclusive take on the day's news every afternoon, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

Ukraine says it is fighting for its existence and that Putin's claims of genocide are nonsense. The West says claims it wants to rip Russia apart are fiction.

The stage where Putin spoke was decked out with slogans "For a world without Nazism" and "For our president", using the "Z" - markings used in the military operation in Ukraine.

The Indo Daily: Under Siege - How Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has thrown MEPs Mick Wallace and Clare Daly into the spotlight

Listen on Apple 
Podcasts Listen on 
Spotify

Before Putin spoke, Russia's stirring national anthem, with the words "Russia is our sacred state" boomed out across the stands of the stadium used in the 2018 Fifa World Cup along with more modern pop hits such as "Made in the U.S.S.R.".

Pan-Slavist poetry by Fyodor Tyutchev, whose verses warned Russians that they would always be considered slaves of the Enlightenment by Europeans, was read out. 


Most Watched





Privacy