Putin cancels annual news conference

World

(NewsNation) — Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annual news conference isn’t happening, and the cancellation is kicking off a lot of speculation about Putin’s reasons for nixing the event.

It’s been an annual tradition since 2013, but this year the news conference isn’t happening.

In previous years, the event has sometimes gone on for more than four hours. It’s an opportunity for Putin to show off his control of domestic and foreign policy issues in a highly choreographed and controlled environment.

Putin traditionally takes questions from Russian and international journalists as part of the event.

Spokesman Dmitry Peskov didn’t provide a reason for canceling the press conference, leaving Russia experts speculating as to what might be going on.

Most suspect it has to do with Putin wanting to avoid embarrassing questions about the stagnating war in Ukraine and the continued setbacks Russia has faced on the battlefield.

That includes the decision to have Russian troops abandon Kherson and Ukraine’s claims of a big victory over the Wagner group, a group of Putin-aligned mercenaries.

Regional Ukrainian military officials say they struck a hotel with rocket fire on Sunday, killing members of the paramilitary force.

The UK’s Defense Ministry said in a tweet, “Kremlin officials are almost certainly extremely sensitive about the possibility that any event attended by Putin could be hijacked by unsanctioned discussion about the ‘special military operation.'”

Putin has also canceled a yearly call-in show where he answers questions for the public and has yet to deliver a state of the nation address to parliament, something he is required to do by the Russian constitution.

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