MOSCOW – Russia's President Vladimir Putin is promising to strengthen the country's economy and its military might.
Putin is delivering his first state-of-the nation address since winning a third term in March's election despite a wave of massive protests in Moscow. Putin has taken a tough course on dissent since his inauguration, with opposition activists arrested and introduction of laws that impose heavy fines on protesters.
Putin said Wednesday that the government would focus on developing high-tech industries to make sure that Russia succeeds in global competition.
He said that on the global stage Russia's task will be to preserve its "national and spiritual identity."