Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused what he called “enemies of yesterday” of trying to bring a new Iron Curtain down around Russia. As it moves into recession, he blames the West. On the other hand, he gave himself high marks for annexing Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula and said his country would rise to any challenge. He delivered his annual state-of-the-nation speech in St. George Hall in the Kremlin. Putin said: “The historical reunification of Crimea and Sebastopol with Russia finally happened. This has a special importance for our people, our country, because our people live in Crimea, and the territory is strategically important. It is a sacred source of our multi-faced but unified Russian nation.” He insisted that Crimea is as important to Russians as Temple Mount in Jerusalem is to Islam and Judaism.