President Vladimir Putin issued a video address with greetings on International Women's Day celebrated Tuesday, saying that women's “dignity and mercifulness” epitomize Russia’s “soul.”
The March 8 national holiday is widely celebrated in Russia. The festivities focus on a celebration of traditional femininity, and mostly involve men presenting gifts of candy and flowers to their wives, girlfriends, female relatives and coworkers.
In line with the widespread Russian stance, Putin praised Russian women for what is perceived as traditional female qualities in the country.
“Women give us life, they warm us with their love, support and care,” Putin said in the video address, broadcast by the Rossia television network. “You bring to this world kindness and beauty, light and hope.”
“It is through the woman, through her dignity and mercifulness, that the true soul of Russia shows itself,” Putin said.
But in line with his policy of promoting “patriotism” and extolling the Soviet Union's role in World War II, Putin also extended “special words of gratitude” to women who fought in the war or labored behind the front lines.
“Your strength of spirit, your heroism taught us to be real men, to win against all odds,” Putin said. “Modern women are a match for you. They succeed in everything – reach the top in their profession, in creative undertakings, in public activity, in creating a welcoming, comfortable atmosphere in the family, in raising children.”