Russia’s Kremlin says Putin will not hold annual year-end press conference

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Russian President Vladimir Putin will not hold his annual end-of-year press conference this year, which has been dominated by Moscow’s Ukraine offensive, the Kremlin said on Monday.

“There will not be (a press conference) before the New Year,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

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He added that Putin “regularly speaks to the press, including on foreign visits.”

Peskov gave no reason for the break with tradition.

Putin, who has been in power since 2000, has held a press conference in December most years of his rule.

During the media gathering -- a major political event in the country -- Putin takes questions from the press and the public in a marathon that usually lasts several hours.

Last year, he spoke for more than four hours.

Putin sent troops into Ukraine on February 24 and announced a mobilisation to prop up Moscow’s forces there on September 21.

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