"Fighting for our Historic Borders": Putin Spoke 4 Minutes in a Stadium protected by Air Defense Systems
"Rally concert" at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, with extras reportedly being recruited for a fee, culminated a short time ago with an appearance by President Vladimir Putin and his assurance that the army was fighting for Russia's "historical borders".
The organizers of the event had promised to gather 200,000 people, and the live broadcast showed many Russian flags, flags of Soviet military units with slogans such as "Death to the German occupiers". There have also been reports on the Internet of mass recruitment to participate in the event for 500 rubles (currently equivalent to 6 euros).
The speech, in which Putin opined that "the whole country" supports the military, was particularly short - under four minutes – in comparison to the two-hour address to both houses of parliament yesterday morning.
"I listened to the military leadership that battles are currently being fought on our historic borders, for our people," Putin said, and thanked those fighting "heroically" at the front; anyone who supports them is, in his words, a "defender of the fatherland".
He pointed out that children also write letters in support of "our fighters". "We're proud, three cheers ura."
Defender of the Fatherland Day is a holiday celebrated in several countries of the former Soviet Union on February 23. It was introduced a little over a century ago, in 1922, as a way to mark the anniversary of the creation of the Red Army.
Not far from the stadium, an anti-aircraft missile-artillery complex "Pantsir-S1" was also spotted, as reported by "Dozhd" (Rain) TV.
Earlier, the founder of the Conflict Intelligence Team, Ruslan Leviev, stated that although no such air defense system has been spotted near Luzhniki, they are located on the roof of the Ministry of Defense building and a business center not far from the Kremlin. Probably around events like today's rally concert this is already "common practice".
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