MOSCOW, December 31. /TASS/. The outgoing year has been a year of "difficult, necessary decisions, major steps" towards Russia's full independence, and now the country is fighting for its future, President Vladimir Putin said in his New Year's address to Russian citizens on Saturday.
The head of state addressed the people of the country standing next to the military, not against the backdrop of the Kremlin as usual. As Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov explained to reporters, the address was recorded at the headquarters of the Southern Military District.
TASS has collected the key statements of the New Year's address of the President, which lasted nine minutes and became the longest in history.
Results of the year
"It was a year of difficult, necessary decisions, major steps towards gaining the full sovereignty of Russia and the powerful consolidation of our society".
The "truly pivotal, fateful events" of 2022 have become a milestone laying the foundation for the common future of Russians and their true independence: "This is what we are fighting for today".
"It was a year that put a lot in its place, clearly separated courage and heroism from betrayal and cowardice, showed that there is no higher power than love for one's family and friends, loyalty to friends and comrades, devotion to one's Fatherland".
The West has been lying about peace for years, but in fact it was preparing for aggression: "And today it is openly admitting this, no longer embarrassed. They are cynically using Ukraine and its people to weaken and split Russia".
The Western elites hypocritically assured of their peaceful intentions, including the settlement of the conflict in the Donbass, but in fact "in every possible way encouraged the neo-Nazis".
This year, the West declared a "real sanctions war" on Russia: "Those who started it expected the complete destruction of our industry, finances, and transport. This did not happen, because together we created a reliable margin of safety".
About military operation participants
"Russian servicemen, militias, volunteers are now fighting for their native land, for truth and justice. For guarantees of peace and security for Russia to be reliably provided. All of them are our heroes, it is the hardest time for them now".
The authorities will provide all necessary assistance to the families of those participants in the operation who died on the battle field: "We will do our best to help the families of our fallen comrades raise their children, give them a decent education, and get a profession".
Putin thanked the military for their valiant service and congratulated "all personnel of the armed forces" on the New Year: "Our entire vast country is proud of your fortitude, resilience and courage, prayers and hearts of millions of people are with you. And at the New Year's table there will definitely be toasts in your honor".
Fighting for the future
Now "the most important thing is the fate of Russia," its defense is "a sacred duty to ancestors and descendants." "We have always known, and today we are again convinced that the sovereign, independent, secure future of Russia depends only on us, on our strength and will!".
Russia's struggle for its interests and its future will become "an inspiring example for other states in their striving for a fair multipolar world order".
Russians must believe that their country will remain "great and independent" and will "only move forward and win".