Putin prepares to address the nation

Russian President Vladimir Putin will address the nation on Wednesday in his annual “State of the Nation” conference.

This speech comes at a time of great Russian tension, with reports of Russian troops preparing at the Ukraine border.

Putin critic Alexei Navalny has also recently become severely ill since his reported hunger strike. His deteriorating condition has been cited by many world leaders in statements against Putin’s regime.

Ukraine border

The EU’s Foreign Affairs Chief estimates the size of the current deployment in Ukraine to be 100,000 troops. This massive deployment measures higher than in 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea.

Russia’s motivation to take military action could be a land route to Crimea or a sign of strength over Ukraine and assured sovereignty for the coming years.

Crimea, Ukraine and Russia borders in 2014 | Source: The Economist

Alexei Navalny

Navalny was sentenced in February for two years for parole violations. It is widely believed that the charges were actually in response to his harsh criticism of the Kremlin.

Recently, he went on a hunger strike in retaliation to his charges. His condition has deteriorated over the last week, with his doctor warning that he “could die at any moment.”

The US and several European nations have demanded he is taken care of, to avoid “consequences.”

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