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STORY: Mariya Yakovleva, who was arriving for the concert, told Reuters she wanted to hear Putin's address at the concert because he provided peace of mind for people.
"You listen to him and you (believe) that all will be well, everything will be wonderful. That we are on the right path," she said.
"He’s like a father to us. For me at least. That’s how I feel.”
Another attendee, who did not wish to give his name, said he was convinced Russia was on the right path and only victory and "reunification" lay ahead for the nation.
Speaking at the concert later, Putin hailed Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine, saying they were defending the fatherland.
The "Glory to Defenders of the Fatherland" concert was held on the eve of Russia's Feb. 23 holiday celebrating those who serve in the armed forces.