Russian state television suddenly cut away from President Vladimir Putin speaking at a packed Moscow stadium to mark the eighth anniversary of Crimea’s annexation on Friday (March 18), showing patriotic songs being performed at the event instead.
One concert-goer said that Putin had finished his speech and left the stage.
The Kremlin said a technical glitch was behind the interrupted transmission of the Russian president’s speech at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium. The event held in Moscow on Friday took place 23 days after the launch of what Russia says is a ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine.
Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24 in an effort to degrade its southern neighbour’s military capabilities and root out people it called dangerous nationalists.
Ukrainian forces have mounted stiff resistance and the West has imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia in an effort to force it to withdraw its forces.