President Vladimir Putin’s annual address to the Russian parliament will coincide with the second anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine, the business daily Kommersant reported Tuesday, citing four anonymous Kremlin sources.
Putin could give his State of the Nation speech to both houses of parliament sometime after Feb. 23 or before March 8, according to the newspaper. Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022.
The date of Putin’s anticipated address also falls on the eve of the March 15-17 presidential election, a race that the Russian leader is certain to win.
Although the State of the Nation address is constitutionally mandated, Kommersant writes that the event “fits well” with Putin’s strategy of devoting more time to his current duties than to the presidential campaign.
Kommersant’s sources stressed that Putin keeps the details of his speech a closely guarded secret.
But drawing from the president’s recent public statements, they say he will likely address Moscow’s military achievements in Ukraine, as well as Russia’s ability to weather the storm of Western sanctions.
“A timeframe for an end [to the war] is unlikely to be given, but the speech will be about Russia’s efforts to safeguard its cities,” one source was quoted as saying.
The Kremlin has said preparations for Putin’s speech were underway and that the public would be informed “in good time.”
In last year’s speech, Putin vowed to press onward with the military campaign in Ukraine and railed against the West.