The unexpected incident unfolded recently during the 71-year-old Russian leader's customary Q&A session, during which he typically addresses questions from ordinary Russian citizens.
One person's message, displayed on a large screen behind Putin, read: “Don’t run for another term as president. Make way for the young!”
Another citizen asked, “Why is your reality at odds with our lived reality?”
A third individual didn’t think their question would be shown, but continued, “I'd like to know, when will our president pay attention to his own country?”
“We've got no education, no healthcare," the message continued, adding, "The abyss lies ahead.”
Numerous other citizens submitted questions related to the ongoing nearly two-year-old war in Ukraine, the rising prices of gas and food, and the inadequate supply of electricity. One desperate citizen detailed living without proper electricity and placing hope in the leadership.
Putin reportedly chose to ignore the visible messages on the screen and instead focused on speaking about the ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the Kremlin's objectives of "de-Nazification" and "de-militarization" in the neighboring nation, according to the Daily Mail.
Putin asserted that peace would be achieved once the goals were met.
The annual press conference was canceled at the last minute last year after concerns were raised about Putin's health and declining support for the invasion of Ukraine among the Russian population.
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Putin's issues during the recent press conference coincided with reports that he ordered increased military efforts in Ukraine to boost his chances in the 2024 elections.
According to the Institute for the Study of War, Russian forces were under pressure to intensify their actions in Ukraine leading up to the upcoming March presidential elections.
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