(LOS ANGELES TIMES) — In a short but fiery presidential campaign speech, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Thursday called on voters to prepare for battle to protect the country’s future.

Government opponents and foreign influences are threatening to weaken Russia, Putin told tens of thousands of people at a rally in Moscow held on Defender of the Fatherland Day, a national holiday known as Red Army Day during the Soviet era.

“We won’t allow anybody to interfere with our internal affairs and we won’t allow anybody to impose his will on us because we have a will of our own!” Putin told the crowd, largely made up of government workers brought near the Luzhniki soccer stadium in chartered buses. “The battle of Russia is continuing! Victory will be ours!”

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