Putin announces major speech on war anniversary exactly a year since recognising Donetsk & Luhansk as breakaway states | The Sun

VLADIMIR Putin will address the nation in a major speech to mark one year since he recognised Donetsk and Luhansk as breakaway regions.

The Russian despot will address the federal assembly – a joint meeting of Russia's two houses of parliament – on February 21, the Kremlin revealed on Friday.

The date marks exactly one year since Russia recognised two breakaway Ukrainian regions – Donetsk and Luhansk – as independent states.

It was a key step before Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine on February 24 last year.

Vlad and his cronies claim the brutal war – which continues to see civilians slaughtered – is "denazification" of the nation.

Putin cancelled his addresses to the nation in September and December – fuelling speculation about the dictator's future.

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In his last major speech, he spoke from Moscow's Red Square as he celebrated breaking international law to annex four regions of Ukraine. 

During the speech, Putin promised the tens of thousands of people waving Russian flags that all the Kremlin's aims would be achieved.

The announcement comes after Russian forces unleashed 17 missiles on Ukraine in just one hour today as Putin appeared to launch his brutal all-out offensive.

Air raid sirens blared across Ukraine for hours as Vlad's troops blasted the country with a massive wave of strategic bombers, killer drones and rockets.

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Ukraine's air force said "the enemy" had deployed seven Iranian-made drones, six Kalibr cruise missiles and "up to 35 anti-aircraft guided missiles".

The bombardment is feared to be an effort by Putin to soften up Ukraine's defences ahead of a massive ground attack to coincide with the first anniversary of the war on February 24.

Moscow has already stepped up its attacks in Ukraine's south and east, with Kyiv's military intelligence agency confirming a new assault has begun in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

But the barrage went further, taking aim at the capital, Kyiv.

It also struck critical infrastructure in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city in the northeast, injuring seven people.

Mayor Ihor Terekhov said the missiles ripped through the city at around 4am – and warned the strikes could disrupt power, heating and water supplies.

Officials have urged residents not to ignore the air raid sirens as Russian pummels the country.

Serhiy Popko, head of Kyiv's military administration, warned: "There is a big threat of the missile attack.

"I want to stress again – do not ignore the air alert sirens."

Popko said Tu-95 strategic bombers were in the air over the city – which carry cruise missiles.

Putin's forces also launched multiple strikes in Zaporizhzhia – targeting energy infrastructure.

Acting Mayor Anatolii Kurtiev said at least 17 missiles smashed into the city in just one hour on Friday morning – making it the most intense period of attacks since the start of the war.

Critical infrastructure was also hit Khmelnitskyi in western Ukraine and the Dnipropetrovsk region in the centre of the country, regional officials said.

Asked if he thought Putin's offensive had already begun, Pavlo Krylenko, governor of the eastern Donetsk region, told Ukrainian television: "Yes, definitely."

A top Ukrainian general claimed two Russian missiles had also crossed into Romanian and Moldovan airspace before entering Ukraine on Friday.

Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, commander-in-chief of Ukraine's armed forces, said two Kaliber missiles were launched from the Black Sea.

Moldova confirmed a missile crossed into its airspace – but didn't confirm it was Russian.

Romania's defence ministry has not yet confirmed whether a Russian missile crossed into its airspace.

Ukraine has been monitoring the Russian military build up as they continue to plea for Western support – including during Volodymyr Zelensky's visit to London.

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Putin likely will be seeking some sort of major triumph or new operation to mark the one year anniversary – with his future now tied to the success or failure of the war in Ukraine.

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