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Putin's presser in context

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By Arthur I. Cyr

President Vladimir Putin of Russia held his traditional year-end press conference on Dec. 17. The annual show is certainly preferable to the grotesque show trials of Stalin's Soviet Union, and provides real information.

Putin dismissed United States elections as flawed. Later, when rioters invaded the U.S. Congress on Jan. 6, Russia's media reacted with scripted condemnation. In reality, Putin's press conference is one highlight within a repressive political environment.

Putin held forth for over four hours, impressively well informed. In deference to the continuing pandemic, he met with the media remotely from his home outside Moscow.

Russia's autocrat emphasized economic matters. He cited statistics indicating pandemic reversals have been lower than in other industrial nations.

However, Russia began from a much lower, weaker baseline. Despite the end of old-fashioned Communist control, extensive state involvement in industry remains. This........

© The Korea Times

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