Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a short address to a ceremony at the Kremlin on Dec. 8 to recipients present Gold Star medals to “Heroes of Russia.” He told them that, in acting for the Fatherland, “we will be able to tell our children and grandchildren that we and our comrades-in-arms did this for them, that we lived, worked and fought for their future. And they will be proud of us.”
Speaking to the press after the ceremony, Putin commented that the West has sought to “sideline Russia, to weaken it. And at the end of the day, to crush [it]. They will not succeed. Ever,” Putin stated.