Putin Makes Rare Admission That Life Is 'Not Easy' For Russians Right Now

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin Anadolu via Getty Images

Vladimir Putin has just acknowledged life in Russia is “not easy” right now – although he dodged any explanation as to why.

Speaking on the national holiday of Russia Day, the president tried to convey a message of unity amid these times of difficulty.

According to state news agency TASS, Putin said: “At the time that is not easy for our country, we are again united by patriotism and responsibility for the fate of the Motherland.

“They serve as a reliable bedrock for the participants in the special military operation.”

This is the phrase the Kremlin has repeatedly used to refer to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Putin has only used the word “war” in public on a handful of occasions since he ordered his troops into Ukraine more than two years ago.

As he continued to speak in these indirect phrases, Putin said: “It is possible to solve the major tasks our country is facing only together, only in a concerted way.”

This call for unity comes as small groups of protesters are starting to push back against the war.

Women are calling on Putin to return their loved ones from the frontline after they were forced to serve in the 2022 partial mobilisation.

Putin also claimed that, on Russia Day, the public should show “reverence” to the country’s “centuries-long history”.

He added: “I therefore consider necessary, historically proper to celebrate the Russia Day as the symbol of continuity of the millennia-old way of our Fatherland.”

Russia Day, first celebrated more than three decades ago after the fall of the Soviet Union, was meant to signal a new chapter for the country – and to stop the public looking back at its past.

But Putin often refers to Russia’s history to justify his land grabs.

And, earlier this week, the president bizarrely revealed that he had deliberately chosen not to take the controversial flag of the Russian Empire of a building down.

He said:  “Everything happens for a reason. This is it. No need to look for any underlying connotations, for any sort of imperial ambitions in this regard. There are none.”

Meanwhile, Russia’s former president and Putin’s close ally Dmitry Medvedev posted a provocative video on social media to mark the national occasion.

It showed the Russian flag unfurling over the whole of the country – and Ukraine, suggesting they were completely one.