Putin cancels annual conference for first time in 17 years

Vladimir Putin has pulled out of his “giant end of year press conference” this year, a Kremlin official has revealed, sparking rumours that he is “critically unwell”. The Russian leader has held an annual press conference in December every year since 2012, with Russian news agency Tass reporting last year that it was the 17th time Putin had held the conference. On Monday, however, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that there will “not be a press conference before the New Year”. 

A report from The Sun questioned whether the Russian autocrat had withdrawn from the conference due to poor health. 

In an article on Monday, they wrote that Putin was “battling cancer” and “faces a coup over Ukraine”, adding that he was “critically unwell”. 

In November, the media reported that the press conference for this year had not been prepared but it had not been cancelled. 

One of the reasons for the cancellation, as the media has now reported, was the “situation at the contact line”.

 

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One of the reasons for the cancellation, as the media has now reported, was the “situation at the contact line”.

While Putin is not officially in charge of the war effort in Ukraine, which he calls a “special military operation”, reports have suggested he is making direct decisions, such as the continued assault in Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast. 

And social media users have taken the opportunity to throw punches at the Russian leader. 

One user wrote: “Mind you, it’s in DECEMBER! He knows that however bad it is, in weeks, it will be much, much worse.” 

One Twitter user said: “It’d be great if he could also cancel himself”, while another asked if the leader was “too scared to leave his bunker”.

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