Vladimir Putin is expected to face questions about his poisoning Alexey NavalnyIn response to the Corona virus crisis, protests and wars in post-Soviet countries and American cyber piracy, as the Russian President holds his annual press conference to end a turbulent year for the Kremlin

Due to the coronavirus epidemic, this year Putin will appear from his residence in Novo Ugarovo via video link (reporters still have to congregate in a hall in downtown Moscow to ask a question).

Peskov, the press secretary, promised that Thursday’s event would be “long and useful”. A nationally televised event, which is usually something of a scene, can last more than four hours.

The Russian president has shown little publicly since the start of the Covid crisis, and most have been working remotely from a room without windows that critics have ridiculed as his “refuge.”

Russian journalists will mostly focus on what is happening in the country, asking questions about the economy and the epidemic, which has claimed 48,000 lives, according to official statistics (and much more according to unofficial statistics). It will also likely address regional issues, including protests in the Far East.

Foreign journalists are likely to ask Putin about the US president-elect, Joe Biden, whom Putin congratulated only this week on his election victory on November 3, and about the Bellingcat investigation that revealed the names of FSB officers who said they tried Sam Navalny. The final war may also break out in Nagorno Karabakh and protests in Belarus.

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The nationally televised event is usually attended by hundreds of journalists, some of them painting intricate banners or carrying stuffed animals to attract Peskov’s attention.

While Putin has asked tough questions in recent years, opportunities to ask follow-up questions rarely exist, and he has avoided making major slips during events.

a A recent report By investigative outlet Proekt claimed that Putin was operating from Sochi, a resort city on the Black Sea, where he had installed a similar office. The Kremlin denied the reports, although travel records of senior officials who met Putin indicate that they may be true.