Vladimir Putin praises Russian army, urges unity amidst Ukraine war

Vladimir Putin praises Russian army, urges unity amidst Ukraine war

Vladimir Putin praises Russian army, urges unity amidst Ukraine war

In contrast to last year, when the head of the Kremlin was surrounded by uniformed soldiers, President Vladimir Putin praised the Russian army on Sunday on New Year’s Eve, calling for “unity” in a scaled-back speech that did not specifically address the situation in Ukraine.

Putin also referred to 2024 as the “year of the family” in front of the Kremlin’s traditional backdrop.

“We have repeatedly proved that we are able to solve the most difficult tasks and will never back down, because there is no force that can separate us,” Putin said in the address, aired on state TV.

“To all those who are on duty, on the front line of the fight for truth and justice,” Putin said, “you are our heroes. Our hearts are with you. We are proud of you, we admire your courage.”

Millions of Russian homes watch the televised New Year’s Eve speech, which is a holiday mainstay and carries on Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev’s tradition.

It is broadcast in each of Russia’s eleven time zones shortly before midnight, and typically includes a recap of the previous year’s events along with wishes for the upcoming one.

(With agency inputs)