BERLIN – A mere two weeks after delivering a weak, stumbling state-of-the-nation address, Russian President Vladimir Putin is back on form as a consummate populist demagogue. His confident performance, and his combative answers to questions that obviously were not pre-approved, seemed designed to demonstrate that he was in control of Russia’s economic situation and not about to back down from his aggressive stance on foreign policy. Putin projected confidence that Russians will stick with him even if they grow poorer.
On Wednesday, Alexander Tkachev, governor of Russia’s southern Krasnodar region, told Russians they’d better tighten their belts to pay for the annexation of Crimea in March: “Didn’t we all applaud, didn’t we all say it was great, we’d done great, Crimea was ours?
Unable to view this article?
This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.
Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.
If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.
We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.