Feb. 23 - Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a wreath laying ceremony to mark the Defender of the Fatherland Day. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Russian President Vladimir Putin attended on Sunday a wreath laying ceremony to mark the Defender of the Fatherland Day, a nationwide holiday that honours the nation's military. The ceremony took place as Ukraine's pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted by parliament after three months of street protests. Yanukovich's departure should pull Ukraine away from Moscow's orbit and closer to Europe. It is a reversal for Putin's dream of recreating as much as possible of the Soviet Union in a new Eurasian Union. Sunday is also the last day of the Sochi Winter Olympics with Russia on top of the medals table in a surprise sporting success for the host nation. Putin has staked his reputation on staging a successful Games.