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Ukraine war

Highlights: Putin's address on Ukraine war to Russia's parliament

President dismisses sanctions, suspends key arms deal 1 year after invasion

In a speech in Moscow almost one year since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin said: 'Today's Ukrainian regime essentially serves not the national interests but those of third countries.'   © Reuters

(Reuters) -- President Vladimir Putin updated Russia's elite on Tuesday on the war in Ukraine, nearly one year to the day since ordering a full-scale invasion that has triggered the biggest confrontation with the West since the depths of the Cold War.

Here are highlights from his speech, which was delivered to members of both houses of parliament, state officials, military commanders and soldiers. It lasted about one hour and 45 minutes.

Difficult time

"I am making this address at a time which we all know is a difficult, watershed moment for our country, a time of cardinal, irreversible changes around the world, the most important historic events that shape the future of our country and our people, when each of us bears a colossal responsibility."

Protecting people of Donbas

"Step by step, carefully and consistently, we will resolve the tasks facing us. Since 2014, the (people of the) Donbas (in eastern Ukraine) were fighting, defending their right to live on their own land, to speak their native language. They fought and did not give up in the conditions of blockade and constant shelling, undisguised hatred on the part of the Kyiv regime. They believed and expected that Russia would come to their rescue... We patiently tried to negotiate a peaceful way out of this most difficult conflict, but a completely different scenario was being prepared behind our backs."

Hostage of West

"I have already said many times that the people of Ukraine have become the hostage of the Kyiv regime and its Western overlords, who have effectively occupied this country in the political, military and economic sense... Today's Ukrainian regime essentially serves not the national interests but those of third countries."

Existential threat to Russia

"The elites of the West do not hide their purpose... That is, they intend to transform a local conflict into a phase of global confrontation. This is exactly how we understand it all and we will react accordingly, because in this case we are talking about the existence of our country. But they also cannot fail to realize that it is impossible to defeat Russia on the battlefield. Therefore, they are conducting more and more aggressive information attacks against us."

Culture wars

"They distort historical facts, constantly attack our culture, the Russian Orthodox Church, and other traditional religions of our country. Look at what they do with their own peoples: the destruction of the family, cultural and national identity, perversion, and the abuse of children are declared the norm. And priests are forced to bless same-sex marriages... As it became known, the Anglican Church plans to consider the idea of a gender-neutral God... Millions of people in the West understand they are being led to a real spiritual catastrophe.

Impact of sanctions

"They want to make the (Russian) people suffer (with sanctions)... but their calculations did not materialize...

"Those imposing sanctions are punishing themselves. They have caused price hikes, job losses, an energy crisis. And we hear them telling their own people that the Russians are to blame."

Russian resilience

"The Russian economy and management system turned out to be much stronger than the West believed... We ensured the stability of the economic situation, protected citizens, saved jobs, prevented market shortages, including essential goods, supported the financial system, entrepreneurs who invest in the development of their business, and therefore in the development of the country...


"I want to emphasize that elections of local and regional authorities this year, and the presidential elections in 2024 will be held in strict accordance with the law, taking into account all democratic and constitutional procedures."

National character

"Russia is an open country. And at the same time, it is a unique civilization... It was handed down by our ancestors, and we must preserve it for our descendants and pass it on. We will develop cooperation with friends, with everyone who is ready to work together... but rely primarily on our own potential, on the creative energy of Russian society, on our traditions and values."

Arms control

"They (the West) want to inflict a strategic defeat on us and sneak into our nuclear facilities. In light of this, I am compelled to announce today that Russia is suspending its participation in the Strategic Offensive Arms Treaty. Russia is not withdrawing from the treaty but is suspending its participation...

"The United States is developing new types of nuclear weapons... In this situation, the Russian Ministry of Defense and Rosatom must ensure readiness for testing Russian nuclear weapons. Of course, we will not be the first to do this. But if the United States holds tests, then we will too. No one should be under dangerous illusions that global strategic parity can be destroyed."

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