With a sagging economy and involvement in conflicts from Ukraine to Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin will give his annual state of the nation address Thursday. The speech is expected to begin at noon in Moscow (4 a.m. EST), the Moscow Times reported.
Putin’s address will be live-streamed online by Kremlin-backed news agencies. Check RT’s live stream for an English language translation as well as its YouTube page. Television channel Russia 1 will carry the address in Russian online here.
The speech is usually delivered in the Kremlin’s St. George Hall to Russia’s Federal Assembly, the parliament, as well as an audience of invited political, religious and public leaders. Last year’s address lasted for more than an hour.
The Kremlin has not revealed what topics the Russian president will address, but if last year’s address is any indication, the leader will likely tackle the fight against the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, and the country’s economic situation. Putin last year also discussed Western sanctions against Russia, framing his country as a strong state that would be able to overcome obstacles. The sanctions remain in place.
The address comes at a moment of increased tension between Russia and Turkey after Turkish troops shot down a Russian warplane accused of entering Turkey's airspace, a claim Russia has continued to deny. Russia implemented sanctions this week against Turkey’s agriculture and tourism sectors.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Russian leader was not likely to address the Turkish Stream gas pipeline, a key economic project between the two states. “Naturally, it is not a subject for the presidential address to the Federal Assembly if one particular project is in question,” he said, Russian government-backed news agency Tass reported.
Russia began airstrikes against ISIS in late September. Western leaders have said Russia’s airstrikes have also targeted opposition groups that threaten Syrian President Bashar Assad, a Kremlin ally.
During last year’s address, Putin declared, “No one can gain military superiority over Russia!” After Thursday, Putin’s next big speaking event will be his annual news conference, which is scheduled for Dec. 17 .