Vladimir Putin’s 2022 has not turned out precisely as he’d hoped. He’s reportedly considering fleeing Russia, or at least plotting to do so, since it’s grown increasingly apparent that he might not win his war in Ukraine. He’s the subject of shirtless horseback jokes among world leaders and nearly a global pariah as his allies dwindle, and naturally, he’s worried about assassination at every turn.
The damage from the war, physically speaking, is where it’s being fought in Ukraine, but Putin’s lost an ungodly amount of troops. At home, Russians don’t even have paper, so it makes sense that Putin would want to hunker down in a bunker for the holidays to avoid Russian ire. According to reports, that’s precisely what he’s planning to do, but not for the reasons that you’d expect. According to the Daily Express, he’s already in that safe enclosure to avoid a flu outbreak in Russia.
That logically checks out for a variety of reasons, including how a 70-year-old man would not want to deal with the flu. Also, Putin cancelled his annual marathon speech extravaganza earlier this week. Via CBS News:
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed Monday that Putin wouldn’t hold the annual news conference for the first time in 10 years. He didn’t comment on the reason behind it, but many commentators attributed it to the Russian leader’s reluctance to face unpleasant questions about what he calls Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine.
The annual news conference has been used by the Kremlin to polish Putin’s image. The tightly stage-managed show televised live lasted for up to 4 1/2 hours and featured Putin talking about a wide range of domestic and foreign policy issues.
It’s pretty major for Putin to step back from pimping his propaganda machine, so that speaks to the dire nature of, well, everything to do with Russia. Also, he’s probably hiding all of the toilet paper because it sounds like he needs it, honestly. And don’t forget about his Botox supply either. Man, there’s gonna be a real party in that bunker. Maybe he’ll decide to stay there throughout 2023, too.
(Via Daily Express & CBS News)