Putin to Give Annual News Conference in Russia on Thursday

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia will maintain his year-end information convention on Thursday, resuming an annual custom at a essential second for the battle his forces are waging in Ukraine.

The December information convention has historically been a wide-ranging marathon that gives reporters a uncommon — albeit stage-managed — likelihood to pose doubtlessly difficult questions. Mr. Putin finds himself in a lot better form than a 12 months earlier, when he skipped the annual ritual amid setbacks in Ukraine.

Right here’s a have a look at the subjects Mr. Putin is predicted to handle.

  • Mr. Putin is nearing the third 12 months of his invasion of Ukraine able of relative energy. Bolstered by dense defenses, Russian forces have fended off Ukraine’s counteroffensive this 12 months and are actually attacking in a number of areas alongside the entrance line. Russia’s navy manufacturing is ramping up, and the military — regardless of very excessive casualties — has been capable of regain its footing with out resorting, up to now, to a brand new wave of mobilization.

    Extra broadly, the impasse over navy help for Ukraine within the U.S. Congress is making Mr. Putin’s long-term wager that his nation will outlast adversaries seem extra sensible. Most unbiased navy analysts consider that with out extra American provides, Russia may begin to make bigger beneficial properties subsequent 12 months.

  • Mr. Putin has made the resilience of his nation’s wartime financial system a serious speaking level in current public speeches. Regardless of a flurry of worldwide sanctions, the Russian financial system has regained its prewar measurement and is predicted to develop by about 3 p.c this 12 months, as a major enhance in navy spending stimulates manufacturing, whereas labor shortages power wages to rise.

    However report state spending has come at a value: Inflation has climbed sharply because the spring, excessive rates of interest are stifling non-public funding, firms are struggling to seek out employees and the financial system is turning into extra depending on risky oil revenues. However for now, Mr. Putin appears joyful to tout sturdy headline figures, which assist his broad narrative that the worst financial results of the battle are over.

  • The information convention is probably going to offer Mr. Putin with many foils for one in every of his favourite themes: presenting his international adversaries as hypocritical and decadent.

    Mr. Putin may look to take advantage of the West’s social divisions, presenting himself as a champion of socially conservative causes that resonate with many voters world wide.

  • Mr. Putin has largely succeeded in resigning the Russian public to the battle and to a protracted standoff with the West. Organized resistance to the battle is waning amid escalating repression, and Mr. Putin has lately cracked down on the ultranationalist minority that had criticized his battle technique.

    Whether or not Mr. Putin can maintain public apathy into subsequent 12 months is unsure. Even when American assist to Ukraine wanes, most analysts consider Mr. Putin’s forces are unlikely to attain a decisive breakthrough with out one other wave of mobilization, which might be deeply unpopular.

  • With Russia’s political system below his agency management, Mr. Putin is extensively anticipated to win another six-year term as president within the election in March. Within the absence of a real competitors amongst candidates, the vote will most certainly flip right into a referendum about Mr. Putin’s choice to invade Ukraine, and he’ll most likely use the consequence so as to add a veneer of legitimacy to the battle and to trumpet Russians’ approval of his actions.

    If he had been re-elected and served out one other time period, by 2030 Mr. Putin would turn into the longest-serving Russian chief because the Empress Catherine the Nice within the 18th century, surpassing all of the Soviet rulers, together with Stalin.

Ivan Nechepurenko contributed reporting.

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