Russian President Vladimir Putin told a group of young artists that "attempts to cancel our culture" shows "stupidity" by the West.
Putin spoke Monday via video to participants at an art festival in Crimea.
"All attempts to cancel our culture, to cancel Russia are futile. It's just stupidity," Putin said, Russian state news reported. "And those who think otherwise, unfortunately for them, have not learned the lessons of history."
Putin said that Russian youth will continue the traditions of their culture, as well as ensure the continuity of generations.
"Each of you is a bright, creative person. You represent various areas of culture and arts, but you are united by common and understandable values: faith in justice, love for the motherland, the desire for self-development, a sincere desire to help people," he told Tavrida.ART festival participants.
"It is these qualities, the qualities of the national character, that make our people invincible, and our thousand-year-old culture great."
Putin told the young artists it was their time to make history.
"History is made by people, and today it includes you, young people who can dream and create, work and win," he said.
Putin said the festival team also included people from the "liberated territories," Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions, Daily Post Nigeria reported.
"Today, you are together, ready to join efforts to achieve common goals, and it means that you know that to be strong, you need to be together," he said. "The entire rich, thousand-year history of Russia teaches this.
"We know that any difficulties and trials are the time of new opportunities, the time of brave people. And you are exactly like that. I would like to wish all of you to find new friends on the Tavrida, to conquer new heights of excellence.
"I hope that the festival opening today will become an important step toward these heights for you."
Putin’s Russian forces began an unprovoked attack on Ukraine on Feb. 24.
The U.S. and its NATO allies have implemented sanctions aimed at hurting Russia economically, and have supplied Ukraine with needed weapons.
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