Russian President Vladimir Putin will not hold his traditional year-end press conference for the first time in at least a decade as Russian troops continue to lose ground in Ukraine.
“As for the annual press conference, yes, there won’t be anything before the New Year,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday, adding that the president still has to speak to reporters when he travels abroad.
No date has yet been set for Putin’s New Year’s address to the country, Peskov added.
The annual event has lasted several hours in the past, giving Putin a chance to show his grip on politics and power on live national television. The event had a largely celebratory atmosphere, with regional journalists holding placards to draw Putin’s attention. Surprise questions were rare, however.
Putin, who turned 70 in November, is also at the center of intense speculation about his health – and was seen hanging on camera during a public appearance earlier this week. Aides repeatedly denied he was ill.
Russian troops have been occupying Ukraine for 10 months and are facing setbacks. British Ministry of Defence to say Today, Ukraine has liberated about 54% of the territory captured by Russian forces since February 24.
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