The Kremlin admitted that Putin's address to the Federal Assembly could take place as early as 2023. Prior to this, a TASS source announced the transfer of the message to next year. “As far as the message is concerned, is it possible to send a message next year, it certainly is possible. This is such a fairly obvious truth, ”Press Secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov told reporters. It also became known that Putin this year does not plan to participate in a hockey match on Red Square.
Recently, Putin has refused to participate in several traditional public events with the participation of journalists. On December 12, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that for the first time in ten years there would be no big annual press conference. In addition, in 2022 there was no “straight line” with Putin, and before that, in 21 years, the event had not been held only once.
British military intelligence linked the cancellation of Putin's press conference to concerns about questions about the war. “Kremlin officials are almost certainly extremely sensitive that any event attended by Putin could start an unsanctioned discussion of a ‘special military operation’,” the UK Department of Defense said in a statement.
Instead, Putin holds innocuous meetings in which everything is planned and there is no fear of thorny questions. For example, on November 25, he met with the mothers of servicemen who participated in the war in Ukraine. A few days before the event, it became known that neither the Committee of Soldiers' Mothers, nor the Council of Mothers and Wives of the Mobilized was invited to it. Moreover, representatives from these organizations, trying to get an invitation from the Kremlin, found themselves being followed. As a result, 17 women came to the meeting with the president. The Kremlin’s press service and Russia 24 interrupted the broadcast immediately after Putin’s opening speech, which was expected: his press secretary Dmitry Peskov had previously warned about this, saying that the publication of the recording would entirely “depend on the conversation, whether mothers want it or not ".
On September 1, the Day of Knowledge, Putin held an open lesson in Kaliningrad called "Talk about the Important" for the winners of olympiads and competitions in culture, art, science and sports. At this meeting with schoolchildren, he also spoke about the war without fear. In particular, he said that some accuse Russia of aggression in Ukraine, but everything allegedly is different.
“No one understands and does not know that after the coup d'état in Ukraine in 2014, the residents of Donetsk, Lugansk, Crimea - in large part, in any case - did not want to recognize the results of this coup.”
Putin told the children that the mission of Russian soldiers and “Donbass militias” is to end the war and protect the people and Russia. Of course, the President did not tell the schoolchildren that Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. At the same time, he urged them to support Russian soldiers:
"It is very important. And from young people. Because the guys who fight there risk their health, and many die. They must understand what they are giving their lives for – for Russia and for the people who live in Donbas.”
At the beginning of the war, on March 5, Putin met with the flight attendants of the flight crew of Russian airlines. At this meeting, he said, in particular, that conscripts do not fight in Ukraine.
“Only professional military officers and contractors take part in this operation. There are no conscripts, and we do not plan to do this, and we are not going to.”
This turned out to be a lie. More than 2,000 conscripts ended up in Ukraine in the first days of the war.
The Center for Counteracting Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Councildrew attention to the fact that the video from the meeting was probably made using chromakey technology. “The microphone is not real, like the whole “extras” on the video. Do not be surprised by the dubious quality of editing, yet in Russia all companies that supply modern graphic editors have ceased support, ”the message said.
The Center for Countering Disinformation said the video proves rumors that Putin is hiding in his bunker on Mount Yamantau. “This is another confirmation that Putin is afraid. He is afraid of responsibility for what he has done, he is afraid of his environment and his own people,” the experts noted.