Vladimir Putin blamed the west for the war in Ukraine as he addressed the Russian nation on the eve of the one year anniversary of the conflict.

On February 24, 2022 the Kremlin ordered the invasion of its neighbour in what was dubbed a 'special military operation', having previously recognised disputed claims of independence by the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of the country.

After failing to take Kyiv quickly, Russia has been engaged in a war of attrition in the disputed regions of the country.

Friday will mark one year since the invasion, and the president spoke to the nation in his annual state of the union address, using the occasion to blame the West for the conflict.

Read More: Keir Starmer visits Ukraine to pledge 'unwavering' support if he becomes PM

Mr Putin said: "We were doing everything possible to solve this problem peacefully, negotiating a peaceful way out of this difficult conflict, but behind our backs a very different scenario was being prepared.

"They (the West) were just playing for time, closing their eyes to political assassinations, mistreatment of believers.

"We are defending people’s lives, our home and the West is striving for an unlimited domination.

"I want to repeat: it is them who are culpable for the war, and we are using force to stop it."

HeraldScotland: Russian President Vladimir Putin

Mr Putin also took aim at LGBT rights as he declared "family means a union between a man and a woman" and vowed "we have to protect our children from degradation and degeneration - and we will".

The Russian president also claimed that Western sanctions have had a limited effect on the nation's economy, while announcing higher wages, social security and concessions for homebuyers for those who work in the military sector.

Read More: Edinburgh to mark one year since invasion of Ukraine in show of 'solidarity'

U.S president Joe Biden is expected to deliver a speech of his own in Poland later on Tuesday.

After paying an unannounced visit to Kyiv, the US president made his way to Warsaw on Monday on a mission to solidify Western unity as both Ukraine and Russia prepare to launch spring offensives.

The conflict — the most significant war in Europe since World War II — has already left tens of thousands dead, devastated Ukraine’s infrastructure system and damaged the global economy.