Putin defends war in Ukraine, emphasizes sovereignty amid anniversary commemoration

In a recent video address posted on the Kremlin website, Russian President Vladimir Putin staunchly defended his country’s actions in Ukraine, asserting that Russia was safeguarding its “sovereignty” and “spiritual values” through its military operations. The statement came as Moscow commemorated the anniversary of the annexation of four Ukrainian regions.

President Putin stated that the conflict was not just about territorial claims but was deeply rooted in the defense of Russia itself. He emphasized that the annexation was conducted “in full accordance with international norms,” citing recent local elections in Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions, where, according to Putin, residents expressed their desire to join Russia. These claims, however, have been met with skepticism and criticism from international communities.

Concurrently, in Ukraine, significant developments unfolded as the Ukrainian air force successfully intercepted 30 Iranian-made kamikaze drones, preventing potential attacks on provinces such as Odesa, Mykolaiv, and Vinnytsia. Among these incidents, a drone strike caused a “powerful fire” in Kalynivka, damaging vital infrastructure.

Additionally, Russia’s defence ministry reported thwarting nine Ukrainian rockets targeting its southern Belgorod region, while disruptions in power supply were noted in Russia’s Bryansk region following an unspecified attack on Pogar town. The situation in the region remains tense, with both sides engaging in ongoing military actions.