Putin met with the soldiers involved in the “special military operation” in Ukraine at the Novo-Ogaryovo presidential residence, the Kremlin Palace said.
Putin also visited the Vishnevskiy Central Military Clinical Hospital, where soldiers wounded in the war are being treated.
Putin, who visited the hospital accompanied by Russian Deputy Defense Minister Nikolay Pankov, was informed about the work of the institution.
Putin wished a happy new year to the soldiers he met at the hospital.
“The West is trying to destroy Russia by the hand of Ukraine”
In his speech here, Putin stated that the West is providing military support to Ukraine and said, “They (Westerners) are solving their own problems by the hands of Ukrainians. This has been happening for centuries and it is happening now. Ukraine itself is not an enemy for us. Those who want to destroy and strategically defeat Russia are in the West.”
Emphasizing that the West has created this issue and is fighting Russia over Ukraine, Putin said: “Although they have been aiming to destroy Russia for centuries, we will destroy them faster. The essence of the problem is not Ukraine, but those who are trying to destroy Russia through Ukraine. But they will definitely not succeed in this.”
Stating that they want to end the conflict as soon as possible in line with Russia’s conditions, Putin said, “We do not intend to fight forever, but we do not intend to surrender our positions.”
“The attack on Belgorod is an act of terrorism”
Reminding that the city of Belgorod was attacked on December 30, 2023, Putin said, “What happened in Belgorod is, of course, an act of terrorism. This is an attack on the civilian population. Of course, this is terrorism.”
Stating that they organized attacks against military elements in Ukraine with high-precision weapons in response, Putin said, “We will increase such attacks. (Attack on Belgorod) This is definitely a crime against the civilian population, and such crimes will not go unpunished.”