Vladimir Putin claims Russia ‘is assured’ victory in Ukraine

A Russian victory in Ukraine is “assured”, president Vladimir Putin has claimed.

Addressing workers at a factory in St Petersburg that makes air defence systems, Mr Putin said overall military equipment output was rising even as demand for it was growing because of the war in Ukraine abd that his country’s powerful military-industrial complex was was one of the reasons Moscow was likely to prevail.

“In terms of achieving the end result and the victory that is inevitable, there are several things ... It is the unity and cohesion of the Russian and multinational Russian people, the courage and heroism of our fighters ... and of course the work of the military-industrial complex and factories like yours and people like you,” Mr Putin said.

Vladimir Putin meets with workers at the Obukhov State Plant (Getty Images)
Vladimir Putin meets with workers at the Obukhov State Plant (Getty Images)

“Victory is assured, I have no doubt about it,” he added.

He went on to claim that Russian arms companies manufactured about the same number of anti-aircraft missiles as the rest of the world combined, and three times more than the US.

Earlier on Wednesday, Mr Putin attended an event with veterans to mark the 80th anniversary of the lifting of the Second World war siege of former Leningrad — a protracted military blockade undertaken between September 1941 and January 1944.

He told the veterans that Russia was fighting in Ukraine to defend ethnic Russians and Russian-speakers, which Moscow says are subject to systematic discrimination in Ukraine.

Kyiv rejects the allegation, as do Western nations, and says Moscow is using it as a pretext for a land grab.

“What we’re doing today, including with our special operation, is an attempt to stop this war and protect our people who live on these territories,” said Mr Putin.

Putin attends a wreath laying ceremony marking the anniversary of the siege of Leningrad (Getty Images)
Putin attends a wreath laying ceremony marking the anniversary of the siege of Leningrad (Getty Images)

Mr Putin laid a wreath at the city’s Piskaryov memorial cemetery, where 420,000 civilian victims of the siege and 70,000 Soviet soldiers were buried.

He also put flowers in a section where his brother, who died as a child during the siege, was buried in a mass grave.