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The joys of grandparenthood What Putin revealed in the long-awaited finale of his ‘TASS’ interview, in brief

Source: Meduza

On Wednesday, October 7, Vladimir Putin’s 68th birthday, the state news agency TASS released the final part of a lengthy interview with the Russian President. Here’s what he said during the finale, in a nutshell.

In high school, I wanted to be like [Soviet intelligence officer] Richard Sorge. Who was an influential figure for my children? Me, I hope. My grandchildren are still small. Why specify how many there are? “I said: I have grandchildren, I’m happy, they’re very good, they’re so sweet.” When I run in elections, people vote for me, not for my family. It’s in the West that political culture is associated with family representation. But “we aren’t in a position to engage in these theatrics, here we have to be all grown-up.” Moreover, there’s the question of security. Personal losses? My parents died, this is my greatest loss. My university friends say I’ve hardly changed at all. It seems to me that I’ve managed to hang on to my humanity. I believe in fate, but I also believe that we can influence it.

The three-hour interview, title “20 Questions for Vladimir Putin,” was conducted by TASS journalist Andrey Bandenko. The state news agency released the interview in multiple parts: the first one was published on February 20 and part 17 came out on March 19. The release of the rest of the interview was then put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. TASS released part 18 on Putin’s birthday, October 7. It was called the finale, although they originally planned to release two more parts — one on freedom of speech on the Internet and another about changes to the Russian constitution.

Please note. Any direct quotes from Putin are in quotation marks. You can watch the full interview here.

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Summary by Olga Korelina

Translation by Eilish Hart

Cover photo: TASS/YouTube