Ukraine-Russia War End: Putin More Confident Than Ever After Inauguration Speech; The plot to kill Zelensky was stopped World news

We covered the fifth inauguration of Vladimir Putin as the President of Russia.

The ceremony took place at the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow and our correspondent Ivor Bennett was there to experience the whole event.

He also spoke to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov about the state of democracy in Russia and the lack of opposition during the March presidential election.

Bennett asked Mr Peskov: “Western leaders and Western governments believe that Vladimir Putin has turned Russia into a dictatorship, why do you think that is not the case?”

Mr. Peskov answered: “It is not true.

This is just propaganda, crude propaganda, nothing more.

He went on to say that Russia is “purely democratic,” adding: “We choose our power. We choose our power. We choose our president. We vote for the president or we don’t want to vote for the president.

“And we insist that we have the right to do as we please.”

And we don’t want a third country to interfere with our choices, our preferences.

Asked whether the lack of opposition to Vladimir Putin in Russia was democratic, Mr Peskov said: “But there is opposition inside the country, of course the conditions here are much tougher because we are at war.”

Mr. Peskov used the word “war” twice in the interview – the Kremlin typically calls the invasion of Ukraine a “special military operation” – and he also used the term once.

Ivor Bennett then asked if it was even more important for the public to have the right to speak out during wartime.

“No, on the contrary. He needs tougher measures to ensure victory so that we can achieve our goals,” Mr. Peskov replied.

Asked if it was democratic, Mr. Peskov insisted: “It is, it is.”

He added that Western media in Europe and the US exist “under the same circumstances”.

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