On December 14, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered his thirteenth annual press conference, this time hinting at full readiness to continue his rule (after all, over the past 20 years has failed to come up with a decent competitor and it’s not his “job to raise” rivals for himself). Journalists, for the most part, did not disappoint the Kremlin leader: they asked the “right” questions only to get the “right” answers – on economy growth, hi-tech development, need to improve the social sphere, increase labor productivity, and raise incomes of Russians, a strong army, Russia’s influence in the international arena, etc.
At the same time, this whole performance, accompanied by applause following Putin’s especially "witty" puns and love confessions finishing some questions, looked like something taken from parallel reality.
Traditionally, Putin tried to forget about Crimea and the Crimean Tatars
For example, in the Russian Wonderland, an Olympic doping scandal with Russia’s Winter Games ban was “inflated” ahead of the presidential elections in Russia and clearly has a political pretext, as Putin claims. The Russian president did not elaborate on this but still admitted that Russian athletes actually took banned medication. For no one to dare doubt the political component of the scandal, he reminded that athletes from other countries had also been smeared with similar accusations but there had not been any "politicized excitement" surrounding the issue. Right. It’s once again Russia that has been offended. Enemies all around, as always…
The parallel reality where Vladimir Putin (and his electorate) exists is obvious only to those who looked at this from beyond
By the way, here’s something about the enemies who placed Russia "on a par with the DPRK and Iran, and at the same time, are pushing President [Trump] to ensure that Russia together with you solve the problems with the DPRK and the Iranian nuclear program." According to the Russian president, it turns out that this is some kind of a total conspiracy of congressmen and senators both against the Russian Federation and, in fact, against Trump (besides, there has been no Russian interference in the elections in the U.S., just normal “working contacts”). And, in general, it is the U.S. that is to blame for the fact that North Korea, which "does not see any other way out to survive," has resumed its nuclear arms program.
As for the "lower profile enemies", Putin says that Poland (which has repeatedly appealed to Russia to finally return the remains of the Tu-154 plane that crashed in 2010 near Smolensk, which killed many from the country’s political elite, including Polish President Lech Kaczynski) should grow up. Without saying a word on when the plane will be returned to the Poles, the Russian president burst out a statement claiming Russians cannot be guilty of the plane crash and are generally "tired of such bluff". He suggested that things not be hyped up and "political speculation" not be built up. Instead, he offered that it is enough to accept that "we are concerned just as you are" and "if there is a tragedy, one must treat this as a tragedy". It's time, Putin says, to turn this page and further develop bilateral relations.
Naturally, the Ukraine issue could not be evaded completely. Putin traditionally tried to forget about Crimea and Crimean Tatars and turned a deaf ear to what he was told about Ukrainian cities that had had a chance to take a sip of the "Russian world" but were later liberated by the Ukrainian army from "brotherly help", now live a beautiful and peaceful life. On the long-awaited release of Ukrainian citizens who are being held in captivity of both the FSB and Russian proxy gangs in Donbas, he said that "it is necessary to take a good step forward" but Ukraine, he claims, is holding up the swap. In parallel lines, he accused Ukraine of non-compliance with Minsk agreements, speculated on how difficult the relations are between the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the "nationalist battalions" which can’t wait to go for an actual massacre in Donbas, lamented that his "heart bleeds" from the fact that Ukraine tolerates Saakashvili, and held a brief lecture, suggesting that forceful Russification of Ukraine, although it was actually a thing, did not in the least affect Ukrainians who the Russian president says never differed from Russians, being "one people".
“Where’s the logic?” you might ask. Indeed, a good question. But, unfortunately, the parallel reality where Vladimir Putin (and his electorate) exists is obvious only for those who looked at it from beyond. The internal consumer of "dear Vladimir Vladimirovich”’s speeches, long intoxicated by fierce propaganda, could hardly notice the inconsistencies in his address and the general illogical picture of their “Wonderand”.