That's all for the live blog. We'll have more commentary and analysis on Putin's address later today on rferl.org.
- By 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.
- By Mike Eckel
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.
- By Carl Schreck
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."
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.
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.
Putin emphasizes that these suggestions should not limit the discussion of possible constitutional amendments. Says that discussion should be as "broad" as possible.
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.