President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends,
We are having this meeting on the eve of Defender of the Fatherland Day. This phrase, these words have something powerful, enormous, I would even say mystical and sacred in them.
No wonder one of the most popular prayers begins with the words “Our Father.” “Father” is a word that conveys something very close to every person. After all, we also say “Motherland.” This is about a family, something huge and powerful and at the same time close to everyone’s heart. It is the Motherland and the family. Ultimately, the Motherland is the family and they mean the same for us in our hearts.
There are people – here they are standing next to me, on my left and my right – whose choice in life is to defend the most sacred and dearest thing that we have: family and the Motherland. Today, they are doing this as part of the special military operation.
We have come together here for what is, in fact, a festive event, but I know, I just received a report from the country's top military leaders, that a battle for our people is unfolding on our historical borders right at this moment.
It is being led by courageous servicemen just like the ones who are standing next to us here. They are fighting heroically, courageously and bravely. We are proud of them. Let’s give a triple “hurray” in their honour so that they can hear our greetings.
Our entire country stands behind them, which means that everyone who does it is, to a certain extent, also a defender of the Fatherland. That includes medical workers who help our troops get back on their feet, doctors, nurses and, of course, defence industry employees, transport workers, and everyone else who does this. My friends, this also includes you, the people who came here today to support our soldiers. Thank you. It includes even children who write letters to support our soldiers.
This is very important. In this sense, in our efforts to protect our interests, our people, our culture, our language and all our territories, all our people are defenders of the Fatherland. I bow low to all of you.
Happy upcoming Defender of the Fatherland Day.
The National Anthem of the Russian Federation plays.
United we have no equal.
For the unity of the Russian people! Hurray!