Kremlin says technical glitch behind interrupted Putin speech at stadium

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People watch a broadcast of Russian President Vladimir Putin's speech during a concert marking the eighth anniversary of Russia's annexation of Crimea outside Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia March 18, 2022. RIA Novosti Host Photo Agency/Vladimir Astapkovich via REUTERS

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March 18 (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Friday a technical glitch was behind the interrupted transmission of Russian President Vladimir Putin's speech to a packed Moscow stadium to mark the eighth anniversary of Crimea's annexation.

Russian state television suddenly cut away from Putin hailing what Russia calls its special operation in Ukraine and the bravery of its soldiers, to show patriotic songs being played at the event instead.

It later aired the full speech, which ended a few seconds after the cutaway with Putin leaving the stage as thousands of spectators waved Russian flags at the 80,000-capacity Luzhniki stadium.

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Cited by RIA news agency, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said a server glitch had caused the interruption.

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.

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Reporting by Reuters

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