The Kremlin's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told guests at a private party in Moscow that Russia's war will last for a "very, very long time," the Guardian reported on March 28.
One year after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Russian military has failed to achieve its anticipated gains in Ukraine. As a result, the Guardian wrote, the Kremlin officials have begun to reframe the conflict as an ideological battle of "survival" against the West.
According to the Guardian, Peskov's speech took place at a New Year's celebration in December and the guests spoke on condition of anonymity.
One of the guests said it was "uncomfortable" to listen to Peskov's words, and that he was preparing them "for the long haul", the Guardian wrote.
According to experts cited by The Guardian, this ideological reframing is leading the Kremlin to prepare Russians for a "forever war."
Speaking at a factory in Buryatia, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the war was "not a geopolitical task" but a "a task of the survival of Russian statehood," according to the Guardian.
This echoes what Putin said during his speech to the Federal Assembly and members of the Russian political elite on Feb. 21, where he spoke little about the "successes" of the Russian military in Ukraine.
During that speech, Putin emphasized that the war was against the "Kyiv regime" that had the backing of the West and that "the goal of the West is to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia, to end us once and for all. We will respond accordingly because we are talking about the existence of our country."