Putin parrots worn propaganda tropes at first public call-in marathon since 2021

Peace is possible after the so-called “goals of the special military operation of denazification and demilitarization” of Ukraine are fulfilled, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a marathon press conference titled “Year in Review” on Dec. 14.

“There will be peace when we achieve our goals,” the dictator said.

“Let me remind you what we talked about back then – the denazification of Ukraine, demilitarization, and its neutral status.”

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Ukraine was neutral when Russia launched its unprovoked attack on the country on Feb. 22, 2022

Putin also assured that there would be no second wave of mobilization in Russia as “there is no need for it.”

The Russian president announced that 617,000 soldiers are currently fighting in Ukraine.

“The length of the contact line is more than 2,000 kilometers, and 617,000 people are in the combat zone,” Putin said.

Read also: Putin sending more Russians to their deaths in Ukraine — UK Defense Secretary

As for the mobilized soldiers, there are 244,000 of them currently at the front, and about 40,000 have been discharged from service for various reasons.

Russia is conducting a campaign to recruit contract soldiers, and 486,000 have already signed military contracts, Putin stated.

“We planned to recruit 400,000 volunteers,” the dictator said, adding that 1,500 people allegedly sign contracts with the Russian Armed Forces every day.

“By yesterday evening, we had recruited 486,000 contract soldiers and the flow of our men is not decreasing.”

During another question, Putin reiterated his false claim that Russia and Ukraine are “one nation” and called Odesa a “Russian city.”

“At its core, Russians and Ukrainians are one people, what is happening now is a tragedy that looks like a civil war between brothers,” Putin said.

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He also claimed that Ukraine “has nothing to do” with its Russian-occupied Crimean Peninisula and the entire Black Sea region.

“In Turkey, they know that the entire Black Sea region was ceded to Russia as a result of the Russian-Turkish wars,” the dictator said.

“What does Ukraine have to do with it? It has nothing to do with Ukraine at all – neither Crimea nor the entire Black Sea region. Odesa is a Russian city. We know this, but we have made up some historical nonsense.”

He also once again mentioned the territories that the Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin allegedly gave to Ukraine.

“Okay, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin once gave everything to Ukraine during the formation of the Soviet Union,” said Putin.

“We accepted this after the collapse of the Soviet Union. We were ready to live in this paradigm.”

The Levada Center research organization recently published the results of a survey, according to which the main question that Russian citizens wanted to ask Putin during this year’s conference is when and how the war against Ukraine will end.

Read also: General mobilization in Russia possible after 2024 elections — Danilov

Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov previously said that the Kremlin could launch a total mobilization after the presidential election in March 2024.

Putin signed a decree on Sept. 29 to call up another 130,000 Russian citizens for military service.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced on Sept. 11 that a massive forced mobilization of the population would begin in Russia and the temporarily occupied territories due to Russia’s heavy losses at the front. The number of people to be mobilized could range from 400,000 to 700,000.

UK intelligence believes that the high level of desertion demonstrates the poor morale of the Russian army and its unwillingness to fight. This is due to the lack of training and motivation faced by Russian troops along the entire front line.

This is the public call-in session that the Russian leader has held since the start of the full-scale invasion in February 2022.

The “Direct Line with Vladimir Putin” has been held every year since 2001, with the exception of 2004, 2012, and 2020. On the air, trained citizens ask Putin vetted questions, which he answers. The farcical show, which for the most part is tremendously boring, usually lasts several hours.

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