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State of the Union: Putin's speech is eagerly awaited - first details are known

2023-02-21T07:19:18.706Z


Russian President Putin will deliver a state of the nation address on Tuesday. Details are already leaking out in advance.


Russian President Putin will deliver a state of the nation address on Tuesday.

Details are already leaking out in advance.

Update from Tuesday, February 21, 7.45 a.m .:

Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to give his State of the Union speech on Tuesday.

To this end, the “Federal Assembly” – i.e. the State Duma and the Federation Council – is meeting in Moscow.

The events will take place near the Kremlin in the event center "Gostiny Dvor".

According to information from the Kremlin, Putin wants to address the current situation in Russia and the "special operation" in Ukraine.

In the domestic political part of the speech, details on economic and social policy should therefore be given.

Rising prices and a growing lack of prospects, particularly due to the urban-rural divide, are causing resentment among the Russian population.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin in September 2022. (Archive photo)

© SNA/Imago Images

Putin's State of the Union address comes days before the anniversary of the Ukraine invasion.

Ongoing Russian losses in the war zone are also putting military pressure on the President, which will probably also be reflected in the speech.

Vladimir Putin: The political career of the Russian head of state in pictures

Vladimir Putin: The political career of the Russian head of state in pictures

Ahead of Putin's State of the Union address: Medvedev scoffs at Biden's visit to Ukraine

+++ 6 p.m .:

In the first Moscow reactions, Russian politicians made disparaging remarks about the visit of US President Joe Biden to Kiev.

The Russian foreign politician Konstantin Kosachev spoke of a "Biden-in-Kiev show".

Ex-Kremlin chief Dmitry Medvedev wrote on Telegram on Monday: "He (Biden) promised many weapons and swore allegiance to the neo-Nazi regime to the death."

Medvedev also confirmed US information that Moscow had previously been informed of.

Biden received "guarantees of his integrity".

State of the Union speech: Putin wants to give new details on "special operation".

Update from Monday, February 20, 3:30 p.m .:

In the run-up to Vladimir Putin’s state of the nation speech, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov accused the West of a lack of will to negotiate.

Peskov said so on Sunday in a Russian TV interview, the state news agency

TASS

reported.

For this reason, the West will probably not support a meeting between Putin and US President Joe Biden, he stressed.

On Tuesday (February 21), the Russian President intends to address the population in Moscow and provide the current status of the "special operation" in Ukraine.

Biden is expected in Poland at the same time after he made a spontaneous visit to Kiev on Monday.

Putin's State of the Union address: "Special operation" will be topic

First report from Sunday, February 19, 3:00 p.m.:

Moscow – February 24, 2023 will mark the first anniversary of the war in Ukraine.

A few days earlier, on February 21, President Vladimir Putin will address the Russian parliament.

It will be a State of the Union speech – Putin's first speech since April 2021. The Kremlin dampened expectations of the event in advance and announced that it would primarily deal with current issues of economic development and social policy.

But immediately before the date there seems to be a change of course in terms of content.

As reported by the Russian news agency

Tass

, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with Russian state television that the president would answer some questions about the "special operation" in Ukraine.

The topic must be given "special attention".

Referring to the State of the Union speech, Peskov emphasized that the life of each individual revolves around the course of the "special military operation".

“The military operation affects all of our lives in one way or another, including life on the continent.

So we should expect the President to pay special attention to her,” Peskov said.

Putin's Speech: Will Russia Declare War on Ukraine?

Putin's speech also marks the anniversary of a decisive event in Russian-Ukrainian history.

Exactly one year earlier, on February 21, 2022, the Russian head of state announced the "long overdue decision" to immediately recognize the "independence and sovereignty of the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic".

With this exclamation, the President initiated the invasion, which began three days later, and with it the Ukraine war.

In the background, there is now speculation about the specific content of the speech.

Among other things, the end of the so-called special military operation and the declaration of a war with Ukraine are being discussed.

Analysts warn that Putin could argue during his State of the Union address that the involvement and behavior of the NATO alliance makes a war on Ukraine to protect Russia inevitable.

A spokesman for Putin described NATO as "involved" in the Ukraine conflict.

Call for war is “hardly calculable risk” for Putin

However , political researcher and Russia expert Alexander Dubowy from the

Berliner Zeitung

considers the scenario described to be unlikely.

The official declaration of a state of war and a general mobilization are associated with "hardly calculable risks" for Putin and the government.

The far-reaching measures would hit the Russian population hard in their everyday lives and thus also damage Putin's popularity.

"Right now it's pretty much the last thing the Russian leadership needs," said Dubowy.

In addition, the imposition of a state of war for Putin is only a formality anyway.

After all, the head of state has the Russian parliament unreservedly on his side and has increasingly resorted to governing by presidential decree since the beginning of the Ukraine war.

A legal transfer of power to the President is therefore not absolutely necessary.

"The risks of unpopular decisions seem too incalculable, the outcome of broad-based offensive operations too uncertain, and their failure too serious," says Russia expert Dubowy.

(aa/tu with dpa/AFP)

Rubric list image: © SNA/Imago Images

Source: merkur

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