Speaking to a group of high-achieving schoolchildren on Friday in a TV program called Important Conversations marking the start of the 2023-24 school year, Putin said defeating the patriotic Russian nation was an impossible task and anyone pursuing it was in vain.
Russia launched its special military operation in pro-Moscow regions of Ukraine in February 2022 to prevent Kiev's persecution of the people in these regions and stop NATO's eastward encroachment. In June, Kiev launched its counteroffensive with the objective of victory against the Russian army.
The Russian leader cited the nation's patriotism as the secret to its victory in the past, present and future.
"I understood why we won the Great Patriotic War," Putin said, referring to World War II. "It is impossible to defeat this kind of nation with this kind of attitude. We were absolutely invincible. And we are the same now."
Russia's leader told the pupils that Moscow would seek to "ensure security" in the four Ukrainian regions, which joined Russia in separate referendums, without fully controlling them.
The Important Conversations patriotism lectures, which started last year after Moscow began the military campaign in Donbas, combine World War II revisionism, lessons on Russian values and Moscow's vision about Russian troops being responsible for "protecting" their compatriots in Ukraine's Russian-speaking regions.
Schoolchildren across the country have been encouraged to send letters to Russian troops in eastern Ukraine and make camouflage nets and candles for them to use in the warfront.
Putin traveled to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, which is sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania, both NATO member states, on the Baltic Sea, at the start of last year's school year, saying Moscow sent its troops to conduct a special operation in eastern Ukraine with the objective to "protect Russia."
Reports in past weeks in the New York Times, Washington Post, and other news outlets, have been citing US and other Western officials criticizing Kiev, suggesting that the Ukrainian counteroffensive was falling short of expectations.
Ukrainian commanders say they aim to degrade Russia's defenses and logistics to reduce losses when they finally attack at full strength.
Some Western officials have come to see the support for Ukraine as their loss and a distraction from their own domestic issues.
Since the war began, Kiev has received tens of billions of dollars' worth of weapons and munitions, and in exchange it gave empty promises to the US-led Western countries of victory on the battlefield.
Russia has frequently warned that the continued supplying of Western weapons and munitions to the Ukrainian military would only prolong the war.
Source: Press TV#Russia #Ukraine 23-09-02
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