Russian President Vladimir Putin gave his year-end press convention with a Q&A session. It was a monumental affair, that lasted 4 hours and 4 minutes, by which Putin answered 67 questions from journalists – each Russian and overseas – and residents.
Naturally, the western media must take him down a peg, so it’s mentioned that the questions had been ‘fastidiously curated’, which is, in fact, true. However simply examine that to feeble Joe Biden squinting his eyes closed as he takes a few questions from pre-selected journalists and reads pre-written replies.
The distinction between the leaders couldn’t be extra clear.
The Russian President started by saying that ‘strengthening sovereignty is one in every of his priorities’, and that ‘Russia can not exist with out it’.
“The first goal is to bolster Russia’s sovereignty, fortify border safety, and safeguard the rights and freedoms of [our] residents.”
“The world has been stunned the Russian economic system has not collapsed underneath Western sanctions, however it has proved resilient and this can proceed.”
Russia’s aims within the ‘Particular Army Operation’ in Ukraine stay ‘unchanged’ – the ‘denazification and demilitarization’ of Kiev’s regime stay prime targets.
“Their nationwide hero [Stephan Bandera] is a well known Nazi determine.”
“Peace will come after we attain our targets,” he says. “Ukraine nearly produces or manufactures nothing… they’ve been importing issues without cost, freeloading.”
Video: “Odessa is a Russian metropolis, everyone seems to be conscious of that, however they conjured up historic nonsense, and after the collapse of the USSR we gave into it.”
Putin pressured that 244,000 Russian troops are at present on the battlefield in Ukraine.
“Some 486,000 individuals had to this point signed up voluntarily as contract troopers, on prime of the 300,000 individuals referred to as up final yr, and the circulation just isn’t diminishing.
In all, 1,500 individuals are recruited daily, with contracts signed for 2 or three years amongst volunteers.”
The Kremlin mentioned that a minimum of 2 million questions had been submitted – with many projected in screens within the studio – together with blistering criticism.
With regards to the Russian-Ukrainian battle, Putin’s take was not maybe the anticipated warlike one:
“The Russians and the Ukrainians are one individuals, basically, and what we’re witnessing now is a superb tragedy resembling a civil battle between brothers on opposing sides. And it isn’t even their fault, all the southeast of Ukraine has at all times been pro-Russian.”
Kiev’s forces have ‘failed in all places’ of their counteroffensive, and the a lot vaunted bridgehead on the left financial institution of the Dnieper is only a PR act.
“They’re pushing their individuals and these individuals are going to be killed. They will different international locations asking for cash, and now they’ve to point out the Ukrainian military has at the least some probabilities of reaching one thing with out fascinated about any losses.”
A citizen confirmed outrage that Russia was being insulted world wide, and requested Putin what he thought of people who find themselves in opposition to him.
“In lots of cities of the world, many individuals suppose what we’re doing is right. Now we have an enormous variety of supporters in defending conventional values. The variety of individuals supporting Russia is rising exponentially.”
Video: Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, was about to present the ground to a New York Occasions reporter however was interrupted by the president, who demanded the Chinese language company to be referred to as first.
“Xinhua information company first, please, then The New York Occasions!”
Valerie Hopkins, from the NYT’s Moscow bureau: ‘That is the primary time for the reason that battle started that Western journalists have been allowed to attend such an occasion.’
“It’s all Peskov’s fault,” Putin jokes. “I’m a democratic particular person,” he says.
The topic of the questions tended to return to the Warfare usually. Putin instructed the viewers that the road of contact is now greater than 2,000 kilometers lengthy, and there are 617,000 preventing males within the fight zone.
In a noteworthy apart, Zelensky’s former advisor, now in self-imposed exile, Arestovich: “Putin calls us brothers and a united individuals, and we name them pigs and orcs. On the display screen Putin has uncomfortable questions from Russians. Who do you suppose has the benefit: us or them?”
There was a loopy second when an AI-generated video of Vladimir Putin appeared within the monitor to ask a query.
“Do you might have numerous twins (clones/doppelgangers)? What’s your perspective risks with… synthetic intelligence?”
Putin responded: “You’ll be able to speak like me and use my voice, my pitch, however I figured just one particular person can converse like myself and use my voice, and that is going to be me. As regards the AI, that is my first twin.”
Putin was the picture of optimism, as he assured the world that Russia will win within the Particular Army Operation.
Video: “Nord Stream pipelines had been seemingly blown up by the US.”