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Putin Warns Of Hard Times Ahead For Russia06:11

This article is more than 5 years old.

In his annual speech to the Russian parliament, President Vladimir Putin urged self reliance and accused Western governments of trying to raise a new iron curtain around Russia in response to the country's annexation of Crimea and support for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The speech was delivered as concerns about the Russian economy mount. The rouble has fallen to historic lows and oil prices are also plunging — Russia depends on oil exports to boost its economy.

The BBC's Sarah Rainsford is in Moscow and tells Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson, "I think this speech was very much about boosting patriotic feeling in Russia, to tell Russians that they could unite and remain strong."

Note: This BBC piece can be heard in the Here & Now podcast or the WBUR mobile app.


  • Sarah Rainsford, Havana correspondent for the BBC. She tweets @sarahrainsford.

This segment aired on December 4, 2014.

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