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Putin faces questions on Navalny poisoning and Covid disaster at annual Q&A

Vladimir Putin is anticipated to face questions on the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, his response to the coronavirus disaster, protests and wars in post-Soviet international locations and the US cyberhack, because the Russian president holds his annual press convention to finish a turbulent yr for the Kremlin.

Owing to the coronavirus epidemic, Putin will this yr be showing from his residence at Novo-Ogaryovo by video-link (journalists should nonetheless crowd right into a corridor in downtown Moscow to ask a query).

Peskov, the press secretary, has promised that Thursday’s occasion will likely be “relatively lengthy and informative”. The nationally televised occasion, which is normally one thing of a spectacle, can final greater than 4 hours.

The Russian president has made few public appearances because the begin of the Covid disaster, largely telecommuting from a windowless room that critics have derided as his “bunker.”

Russian journalists will largely be centered on what is occurring within the nation, asking questions on the financial system and the epidemic, which has killed 48,000 folks, based on official statistics (and much more based on casual tallies). Regional points, together with protests within the far east, will even seemingly be addressed.

Overseas journalists will probably ask Putin in regards to the US president-elect, Joe Biden, whom Putin congratulated solely this week for his victory within the elections on 3 November, and on a Bellingcat investigation that exposed the names of the FSB officers it mentioned tried to poison Navalny. The latest conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh and protests in Belarus may come up.

The nationally televised occasion is normally attended by tons of of journalists, some who paint elaborate indicators or maintain up stuffed animals to draw Peskov’s consideration.

Whereas Putin has fielded powerful questions in previous years, there are not often alternatives to ask follow-up questions, and he has averted making main gaffes throughout the occasions.

A latest report by the Proekt investigative outlet claimed that Putin had been working from Sochi, a resort metropolis on the Black Sea, the place he has put in an equivalent workplace. The Kremlin has denied these reviews, though journey data of high officers assembly Putin recommend they could be true.

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