VLADIMIR Putin’s armoured motorcade was spotted heading to Kremlin early in the morning just hours before his major address to the nation.
Footage shows the vehicle at 1 am local time heading to Moscow just before Mad Vlad is expected to deliver a speech to Russia’s federal assembly to mark the one-year anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine.
The dictator will update Russia’s elite and deliver a speech to members of both houses of parliament and to military commanders as well as soldiers.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told state television: “At such a crucial and very complicated juncture in our development, our lives, everyone is waiting for a message in the hope of hearing an assessment of what is happening, an assessment of the special military operation.”
Putin will also give his analysis of the international situation and outline his vision of Russia’s development after the West imposed sweeping sanctions on it, the Kremlin said.
The speech is due to begin at 9 GMT in central Moscow.
The Kremlin is also planning a celebratory concert at the Luzhniki Stadium the following day.
A source from Russia’s parliament confirmed to RIA Novosti that a rally event on February 22,is expected to be attended by 200,000 people, including Putin.
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.
Putin cancelled his addresses to the nation in September and December – fuelling speculation about the dictator’s future.
In his last major speech, he spoke from Moscow’s Red Square as he celebrated breaking international law to annex four regions of Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the world holds its breath ahead of the looming anniversary of the invasion amid fears of a new onslaught on Ukraine.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow previously warned that diplomats are working on something to make sure events in the West are “not the only ones to gain the world’s attention”.
Russia is believed to be plotting an attack across two new fronts – pushing into eastern and southern Ukraine.
Ukrainian defenders are bracing for an assault that could include 1,800 tanks, 3,950 armoured vehicles, 400 fighter jets and 300 helicopters incoming from Russia – as well as 500,000 soldiers.
It comes as Ukraine warned Putin had put his nuclear forces on high alert in a bid to “blackmail” the West.
US President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Kyiv for an unannounced summit while he was expected to be in Poland.
He met with Ukraine’s hero president, Volodymyr Zelensky, and the two of them embraced near a memorial dedicated to dead Ukrainian servicemen.
The US President vowed Washington will stand with Kyiv for “as long as it takes.”