“That people want to express their opinion about what is happening in the country and the economic, social, and political sphere is an entirely normal thing, as long as they adhere to the letter of the law, of course,” Putin said. “I am counting on it staying that way. I saw the clips on television of the mainly young, active people formulating their opinion clearly. It pleases me. If this is the result of the Putin regime, then that’s good!” [READ MORE]
Putin’s appearance — an annual spectacle that last year went on for more than four hours — against a backdrop of preparations for the presidential election in March, when he hopes to return after a four-year absence mandated by the Russian Constitution.