Moscow: The outgoing year, 2022, has been a year of "difficult, necessary decisions, major steps" towards Russia's full independence, and now the country is fighting for its future, Russia's President Vladimir Putin said in his New Year's address to Russian citizens, reported TASS.

Putin during his address on Saturday said: "It was a year of difficult, necessary decisions, major steps towards gaining the full sovereignty of Russia and the powerful consolidation of our society".

The "truly pivotal, fateful events" of 2022 have become a milestone laying the foundation for the common future of Russians and their true independence. "This is what we are fighting for today," he said.

"It was a year that put a lot in its place, clearly separated courage and heroism from betrayal and cowardice, showed that there is no higher power than love for one's family and friends, loyalty to friends and comrades, devotion to one's Fatherland," the Russian President said.

Putin said that the West has been lying about Peace for years and was preparing for aggression. Today, they are openly admitting this. They are using Ukraine and its people to weaken and split Russia.

"The Western elites hypocritically assured of their peaceful intentions, including the settlement of the conflict in the Donbas, but in fact "in every possible way encouraged the neo-Nazis"," said Putin, as quoted by TASS.

The TASS report quoted Putin as saying that: "This year, the West declared a real sanctions war on Russia. Those who started it expected the complete destruction of our industry, finances, and transport. This did not happen, because together we created a reliable margin of safety."

Putin praised the Russian military. He said that the military men are fighting for their native land, for truth and justice. "All of them are our heroes, it is the hardest time for them now," he said.

He said that the Russian military will provide all possible assistance to the families of those who died during the battle. "We will do our best to help the families of our fallen comrades raise their children, give them a decent education, and get a profession," he said.

Putin thanked the Russian military for its service. He said the entire country is proud of its resilience and courage. "Our entire vast country is proud of your fortitude, resilience and courage, prayers and hearts of millions of people are with you. And at the New Year's table there will definitely be toasts in your honour," Putin said.