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Putin Cancels Annual Year-End News Conference


Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he holds his annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow, Dec. 23, 2021.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not hold his traditional televised end-of-year news conference for the first time in a decade.

The event, which often runs for several hours, has been a feature of Putin's calendar and given him a chance to answer questions from both local and foreign journalists.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters Monday that the news conference would not happen "before the new year."

Peskov, however, noted that Putin regularly speaks to the media, including on foreign visits, and said the Russian president would still find an opportunity to talk with journalists.

He did not say why the traditional news conference would not be held.

December marks 10 months of Russia's war in Ukraine, and Putin's administration is facing questions about Moscow's military strategy.

Russia's forces were not able to capture Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, early in the war, and in November were forced to retreat from the southern city of Kherson.

Putin's government has also faced criticism over its mass mobilization of Russians to fight in Ukraine and questions over whether they received proper training.

Last year's news conference lasted four hours, during which Putin was asked about the tens of thousands of Russian troops massing near Ukraine's border. Putin said he wanted to avoid conflict and repeated his call for security guarantees from the United States and other Western countries.

Some information in this report came from Reuters.

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