Putin’s speech slamming Western sanctions began over 90 minutes after the scheduled start time on Friday as the cyberattack disrupted the forum’s system allowing access badges into the venue, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
It is not clear who was responsible for the attack.
Ukrainian IT Army, an international group of volunteer hackers endorsed by the Ukrainian Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov, encouraged its members to target the forum earlier this week, according to a Telegram message seen by CNN.
After the delays, Putin took to the podium to blast Western sanctions, calling them “stupid” and arguing global currencies were “committing suicide” as a result of the mounting sanctions, the Telegraph reported.
Putin also repeated his case for his country’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, which he has termed a “special military operation.”
“Russia is entering a new era as a powerful, sovereign country and will become even stronger,” Putin said. “Only strong and sovereign states can have a say in this emerging world order or are doomed to become colonies.”
The country experienced technical failures in the early days of the war, with several Russian government websites going down hours after the country invaded Ukraine.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine surpassed 100 days earlier this month and has claimed the lives of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians, as well as Russian soldiers, in the Kremlin’s quest to take sovereignty.