President Vladimir Putin hold his 10th annual press conference with journalists around the world. Among the topics discussed Putin mentioned that he believes the current crisis involving the Russian rouble will be brief, stating the Russian economy will overcome difficulties in two years time. Putin assured journalists that Russia will not be enforcing drastic measures such as capital control in attempts to recover the economy.
Putin also addressed the Ukraine crisis, stating that the events surrounding Ukraine are "really are a punitive operation, but one carried out by the Kiev authorities, and not vice versa." Mr Putin also stated that the West would have targeted Russa even if they did not annexe Ukraine.
The rest of the conference included matters of a more surreal nature - including a women asking about Putin's "love life". Putin answered that "everything is fine in that department".
Further questions included questioning the nature of Russian society. Putin stated that the line between the "fifth column" and political opposition is blurry, and that the difference between the two (whilst quoting poet Mikhail Lermontov) that the difference is whether people are opposing the government for deeply caring about the country from their hearts or serving foreign interests.
Putin's humour was also put onto display when a journalist suggested that some of Putin's closest colleagues blamed him for the current economic crisis. Putin replied "Give me a list of names." When asked at a possible palace coup, Putin said that "Calm down. We don’t have any palaces. So there can’t be a palace coup."