In his New Year's address, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed gratitude to Russian soldiers fighting at the frontlines, without explicitly mentioning the war in Ukraine.
He praised the soldiers for fighting for truth and justice, calling them Russia's true heroes and admired by the Russian people.
"We have repeatedly proven that we can solve even the most difficult tasks, and we will never retreat, for there is no power that can divide us," Putin stated.
Addressing those in service and fighting at the frontlines, Putin said, "You are our heroes. Our hearts are with you. We are proud of you, we admire your courage."
Russian soldiers have been fighting in Ukraine for 23 months since the invasion in February 2022. However, Putin did not explicitly mention the war in Ukraine in his speech. Instead, he declared 2023 as the 'Year of the Family' in Russia.
The New Year's address was broadcast on Russian TV before midnight in each of the 11 time zones that Russia spans.
Last year, Putin was flanked by uniformed soldiers during his New Year's address, but this year's setup was more subdued and without military participation. The address was broadcast from the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia.