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Live Blog: Putin's Annual Address As It Happened

Russian President Vladimir Putin has given his annual address to parliament.


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-- Russian President Vladimir Putin used his annual state-of-the-nation address to parliament to focus on domestic affairs, including measures to counter Russia’s declining population.

-- The address was delivered this year at Moscow’s Manezh exhibition hall.

-- It was the 16th time Putin has delivered the address before an audience that includes government ministers, judges from the constitutional and supreme courts, leading regional officials, and other members of the political elite.

11:30 15.1.2020

That's all for the live blog. We'll have more commentary and analysis on Putin's address later today on rferl.org.

10:40 15.1.2020
16x9 Image Mike Eckel

Aleksei Venediktov, the editor in chief of Ekho Moskvy radio, and a veteran observer (survivor?) of decades of Kremlin politics, highlights the Putin remark about how a referendum may be the way by which the constitution is changed, in order to shift to more of a parliamentary system.

10:19 15.1.2020
16x9 Image Mike Eckel

10:16 15.1.2020
16x9 Image Robert Coalson

Putin finishes his speech by noting that "Russia is us" and everything must be done for the improvement of the lives of Russians. All stand for the national anthem.

10:15 15.1.2020
16x9 Image Carl Schreck

10:14 15.1.2020
16x9 Image Robert Coalson

Putin says any amendments should not affect the fundamental values of the constitution. Says it will be necessary to hold a referendum on the "entire package of proposed amendments."

10:13 15.1.2020
16x9 Image Robert Coalson

Putin says Russia faces enormous threats, says constitutional reform must ensure stability and strength of the Russian state and, at the same time, the flexibility necessary for the progressive evolution of society.

10:13 15.1.2020
16x9 Image Matthew Luxmoore

Putin obviously took cues from his advisers to stop denying Russians' stagnating wages this year and finally address the problem.

But the jarring juxtaposition between the tanned officials listening to him in the hall and the poor Russians being targeted by his promised reforms has not escaped the attention of Twitter denizens, who are scathingly mocking the speech and the promises they've heard before.

10:12 15.1.2020
16x9 Image Robert Coalson

Putin emphasizes that these suggestions should not limit the discussion of possible constitutional amendments. Says that discussion should be as "broad" as possible.

10:10 15.1.2020
16x9 Image Robert Coalson

Putin notes importance of Supreme Court and Constitutional Court. Says constitution must bolster the independence of judges. Says Federation Council should have the right to recommend the removal of judges from the highest courts.

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