MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin in his New Year’s speech on Thursday urged Russians to unite in the face of the country’s battle with the coronavirus pandemic.
Appearing in front of the Kremlin for an address to be broadcast just before midnight in each of Russia’s 11 time zones, Putin acknowledged that a second wave of infections is continuing to batter the country. “Unfortunately the epidemic has not yet been completely stopped. The fight against it does not stop for a minute,” he said on state-run channel Rossiya 1, which broadcast the speech at midnight in Russia’s Far East (1200 GMT).
The president, who wore a black coat over a white shirt with a red tie, added that many medical workers would be “on duty this festive night” and called on everyone else “not to retreat in the face of difficulties, to preserve our unity”.
Putin said in his 17th New Year’s address he was convinced that together Russians could “overcome everything” and “restore normal life”. Russia avoided reimposing the kind of strict nationwide lockdown it introduced this spring in the hopes of supporting a struggling economy.
Source: The News