The Russian president said he had “no doubt” that Russia would win the nearly year-long war (Photo: Getty Images Europe)

Vladimir Putin “doesn’t doubt for a moment” that he will be victorious in his war against Ukraine.

The Russian president spoke to veterans in St Petersburg today and reflected on the war that has passed almost a year since the start of the invasion.

He said, “To get to the bottom line and the inevitable win, there are several things.

“The unity and solidarity of the Russian people, the courage and heroism of our fighters and, of course, the work of the military-industrial sector will ensure victory.

“Victory is certain. I do not doubt that.’

He claimed that Russia had long sought an agreement with Ukraine after illegally conquering Crimea and supporting rebels in Donbass.

Vladimir Putin said starting a war against Ukraine should end years of war in Donbass (Photo: Getty Images/Anadolu)

Putin said: “Large-scale combat operations involving heavy weapons, artillery, tanks and aircraft have not stopped in Donbass since 2014.

“Everything we are doing today as part of the special military operation is an effort to end this war.

“That’s the purpose of our operation: to protect people who live in these areas.”

Russia invaded the Donbass region on Ukraine’s border with Russia in 2014 before annexing the Crimean peninsula, sparking years of armed conflict.

Moscow invaded the Donbass after Russian-backed separatists in the Donbass launched their own civil war against the then-new Ukrainian government, with Russia stepping up its military presence in the region to keep the two republics separate.

When Putin launched his all-out invasion of Ukraine, the war in Donbass got involved.

ST.  PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - JANUARY 18: (---- FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY - MANDATORY CREDIT -

Putin’s comments come as Russia’s war against Ukraine drags on for nearly a year (Photo: Getty Images /

Putin insisted Russia is trying to negotiate a peaceful solution before Ukraine is overrun with its soldiers – but Russia has been “betrayed and duped”.

He labeled eastern Ukraine as Russia’s “historic areas” and emphasized that Russia left them after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

“We have suffered for a long time, we have tried for a long time to reach an agreement. It turns out we just got fooled and scammed,” he said.

“We have made every effort to resolve this situation through peaceful means. It has since become clear that this was by definition impossible.

“The enemy was preparing to push this whole conflict into an ‘acute’ and ‘hot’ phase.

“I’ll say it again, we had no choice but to do what we’re doing now.”

Parts of a helicopter can be seen at a kindergarten site where a helicopter crashed into civilian infrastructure in Brovary on the outskirts of Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, January 18, 2023. The head of the National Police of Ukraine says a helicopter crashed in a suburb of Kiev in which 16 people were killed, including the interior minister of Ukraine and two children.  He said nine of the dead were aboard the rescue helicopter.  (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)

Russia and Ukraine have been at war since February 2022 (Photo: AP)

Putin then made bizarre claims that Nazis were in the government of Ukraine.

“And as for the crimes against the civilian population by the neo-Nazis who settled in Ukraine, ran the show and seized power in Ukraine,” he said.

Everything that has happened since then is important, but the main source of power for the current government in Ukraine is the coup.

Putin met veterans in his hometown to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Red Army breaking the Nazi siege in 1943.

Speaking at a factory in St. Petersburg that produces air defense systems, he added that military production is increasing due to the “special military operation”.

.