Putin Cancels Annual Press Gathering


Russian President Vladimir Putin | Image by Sputnik/REUTERS

A day after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annual press gathering was canceled on Tuesday, the Kremlin announced its intention to negotiate a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine conflict, noting it would still continue military operations there.

“If we could achieve it through other means, through negotiating table, some kind of guarantees, we would with pleasure do it,” Russian UN Representative Dmitry Polyansky said on Russian media on Tuesday.

“But what we got from the West this moment was very condescending treatment and kind of dismissal of any our preoccupations. And then as you know the shelling of Donbas intensified very significantly,” he continued.

Unfounded rumors of Putin being sick, including claims that he broke his backbone, have led to speculation about the Russian leader’s health. If Putin’s health is an issue, the Kremlin did not mention it when it canceled the 2022 Federal Assembly conference, which has been held for the last 10 years in a row.

“As for the annual news conference, yes, there won’t be one before the New Year, but we expect that the president will still find an opportunity to talk to [reporters], as he does regularly, including during his foreign visits,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

In late November, Putin’s hands allegedly turned purple during a meeting with Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, leading to speculation about his health, The Dallas Express reported.

In November, the Kremlin denied that the president was critically ill, saying, “Everything is fine with his health.”

A week later, MEHR News Agency shared a video of Putin driving across part of the Kerch Bridge. The bridge connects Crimea to Russia, and Russia held Ukraine responsible for its destruction in October, The Dallas Express reported.

“Let’s imagine that Putin gets a cold and dies, or accidentally falls out of the window and dies, will the war go on?” David Letterman recently asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukrainska Pravda reported.

Letterman — a retired American late-night television host — posed the hypothetical to Zelenskyy in a recent interview in Kyiv for his show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.

“No,” answered Zelenskyy. “There will be no war. The authoritarian regime is dreadful. There is a high risk that everything can be decided by one person.”

The cancellation of Putin’s annual Federal Assembly conference led the U.K. Defense Ministry to opine on social media that it was “likely due to increasing concerns about the prevalence of anti-war feeling in Russia.”

If true, such feeling is beginning to echo among Republican lawmakers in the United States, with more and more calls for caution levied against the Biden administration about further ingratiating the United States into the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who is likely to become the next Speaker of the House, has stated that Republicans will not write a “blank check” to the war effort.

More concerns have been voiced about both the lack of safeguards for how billions of dollars of taxpayer money have been spent on arming and training Ukraine and whether U.S. intervention risks drawing the country into a wider war, as previously reported in The Dallas Express.

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