Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a comprehensive year-end news conference, reaffirmed Moscow’s resolute pursuit of goals in Ukraine, stating emphatically that peace would remain elusive until objectives of “de-Nazification, de-militarization, and a neutral status” are achieved.
“There will be peace when we will achieve our goals,” Putin said
The address, notable for its rare insights into the ongoing “special military operation,” unfolded against a backdrop of strained relations with the West and Putin’s recent announcement of his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election.
Putin, who has been in power for nearly 24 years, faced a mix of applause and skepticism as he detailed Moscow’s operation in Ukraine, dismissing the necessity for a second wave of mobilization. The president’s promise not to draft reservists for Ukraine, later reversed, was met with doubt by some independent Russian media. As tensions continue to escalate, Putin’s declaration underscores the enduring challenges in the conflict-ridden region.
As Russia’s leader prepares for another term, expected to last until 2030, his unwavering stance on Ukraine takes center stage. The press conference, marked by choreography and applause, revealed Putin’s confidence in Russia’s offensive and his commitment to maintaining control over the course of the conflict. Skepticism persists, given the president’s prior policy shifts and the impact on public sentiment.
Putin’s candidacy announcement for the 2024 election comes amidst concerns about democratic values, with opposition politicians decrying potential threats to democracy in Russia. The geopolitical landscape remains tense, as Putin’s leadership continues to shape Russia’s role in global affairs. The March 17 election, seemingly a formality, sets the stage for an extended period of Putin’s influence, raising questions about the impact on regional stability and international relations.
Against a backdrop of geopolitical complexities, Putin’s news conference covered a range of issues, from the conflict in Ukraine to economic concerns and citizens’ grievances. The president’s assertion that peace hinges on achieving Moscow’s objectives amplifies the uncertainty surrounding the duration and outcome of the conflict