(TheLibertyRevolution.com)- As anticipated, Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be holding his annual year-end press conference this month.
Last month, two unnamed Kremlin sources told the local business newspaper RBC that the Russian president might not hold the annual press conference that he has done every December since 2012. According to the sources, the usual preparations for the annual event were “not underway.”
Putin first held the year-end press conference in 2001, two years after his first time as president. The practice was suspended in 2008 after Putin became Russian Prime Minister but resumed again after he returned to the presidency in 2012.
During this annual event, Putin holds a wide-ranging marathon press conference in December as a choreographed show of openness to questioning while demonstrating his knowledge on an array of topics.
But after a series of setbacks in his ongoing war in Ukraine coupled with the Russian economy faltering under sanctions, Putin decided to skip the annual tradition this year.
When he told reporters on Monday that this year’s press conference would not take place, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov didn’t offer a reason. Instead, he hinted that it may be rescheduled for the new year.
Known to stretch to four hours or more, the annual press conference has been one of the few occasions during the year when reporters from outside the regular Kremlin pool, including foreign correspondents, get the chance to question Putin directly if called on. And as it is with President Joe Biden’s team, the Kremlin frequently asks reporters ahead of time what they might be asking the Russian president during the event.
While the number of Russian journalists who are not in line with the Kremlin has grown thinner today than at any time since the fall of the Soviet Union, it would have been possible that this year’s press conference could have included questions about Russia’s setbacks in Ukraine, leaving Putin in the embarrassing position of having these questions presented on live national television.
During his briefing on Monday, Peskov said that President Putin “regularly speaks to the press, including on foreign visits.” But those exchanges are generally limited to the pool of reporters assigned to the Kremlin.