Putin will not hold his traditional year-end press conference

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not hold his traditional year-end press conference, the Kremlin announced Monday, amid Russia’s mounting military setbacks in Ukraine and Western sanctions against Moscow.

«At the beginning of the new year, there is noneKremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said during a telephone briefing about the president’s press conference, noting that Vladimir Putin spoke to the press on other occasions, including during his trips abroad.

Vladimir Putin’s big face-to-face with the press has been organized every year since 2001, with the exception of the period between 2008 and 2012, when he held the position of prime minister.

This annual press conference, which brings together hundreds of Russian and foreign journalists, usually lasts several hours, with the Russian leader answering live questions on a variety of topics from diplomacy to everyday Russian issues.

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The president’s responses to the media often amounted to orders to the government or regional authorities.

The decision not to hold the year-end press conference comes as Russia, which launched a military offensive against Ukraine in February, has suffered several military setbacks in recent months and declared a partial mobilization in September.

Hit by a hail of Western sanctions since the start of this offensive, Russia now faces an embargo on the supply of its oil to the EU.

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