Over 1 million questions have reportedly been submitted as Vladimir Putin puts on his end-of-year marathon press conference for the first time since Moscow launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
After a one-year hiatus, Russian President Vladimir Putin is again holding his marathon end-of-year press conference on Thursday, broadcast live on state television.
Last December, Putin canceled the press conference for the first time in 10 years. At the time, Kremlin watchers were convinced that Putin wanted to avoid questions from international journalists while his army suffered a series of setbacks in Ukraine.
But nearly two years into his offensive, Putin may be sensing a resurgence in his fortunes. Ukraine’s latest counteroffensive has failed to penetrate Russia’s heavily entrenched lines, and support from its allies is fraying.
ussia’s goals in Ukraine remained “unchanged,” Putin said about the conflict.
“There will be peace when we achieve our goals. Let’s return to these goals: they have not changed. I’ll remind you of what we talked about then: the denazification of Ukraine, its demilitarization, its neutral status,” he said.
He stressed that Russian forces were improving their positions along the front line. In a rare detail, he said around 244,000 troops were fighting in Ukraine.
Peace, he said, would only be possible after demilitarization.
“If they don’t want to come to an agreement, then we are forced to take other measures, including military ones. Or we will agree on certain terms. There are other possibilities — either reach an agreement or resolve it by force. This is what we will strive for.”
Putin, who recently announced he’ll run for another presidential term in the March 2024 election, uses the show to portray himself as a problem-solver.
Unlike Putin’s previous year-end press conferences, there was no official accreditation procedure this time, and the Kremlin issued invitations only to selected journalists.
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