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Vladimir Putin’s four-hour annual press conference in a single paragraph

Source: Meduza

In a contemporary democratic society, only one ideology is possible: patriotism, “in the broadest, best sense of the word.” The line in Russia’s constitution that limits presidents to two consecutive terms could be changed to remove the word “consecutive.” “The decrease in [Russian] citizens’ real disposable income is a very bad thing.” An increase must be achieved, but “we’re not about to throw money around left and right.” December 31 can be made a federal holiday, but not this year and “without offending farmers.” “Putting the Soviet Union and fascist Germany on equal footing is unacceptable.” The biggest beef to be had with Lenin is that he hitched the whole country’s fate to that of his party, but there’s no need to remove his body from its mausoleum. Akhmat and Ramzan Kadyrov deserved the Hero of Russia titles they received. “Ramzan Kadyrov also could have been given the Hero of Labor title, but he’s still quite young — he can wait.” There are no occupying regimes in the Donbas, nor are there any foreign troops. Kyiv has to enter into a dialogue, but “the people living there are proud.” The arrest of Meduza special correspondent Ivan Golunov is being investigated: “Five people from the [Internal Affairs Ministry] have been fired, and there are criminal cases against all of them.” “The Russian and Belorusian peoples are almost one and the same.” Banning Russia from the Olympics is an “unjust” decision that “goes against common sense.” There is no need to change Russia’s federal health care model. “We have such bandits running around Berlin.” There will be no second pension reform. “Are we having a dialogue, or am I giving my answer?” “Do we need a law against domestic violence? Let’s discuss this calmly.” We’re not moving toward closing down the Internet. Things were much worse in the 1990s than they are now. When asked about his daughters: “You mentioned one woman, then another.” “Happy New Year!”

Cover photo: Alexey Druzhinin / Sputnik / Reuters / Scanpix / LETA