Putin uses his state of nation address to affirm re-election
2 March, 2018Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered last Thursday his annual state of nation address with an eye on election due on 18 March, news wires reported. In attempt to further ease his otherwise sure re-election, he promised to improve Russians' living standards and boasted that the country has new missiles no other country has. State opinion surveys show about 70% of Russians favour Putin's re-election. “We should halve the poverty rate in the next six years,” Putin said, adding that 20m Russians currently live below the poverty line, compared to 42m in 2000. He also boasted that in 2017 the living conditions of 3.1m families improved, but the aim was to do this annually for “no less than” 5m families. Putin also pointed out that the country's democratic institutions should be strengthened.Putin used the address to announce that Russia has developed missiles that no other country has, as well as a new supersonic weapon that cannot be tracked by anti-missile systems. Russia has tested new nuclear weapons, including a nuclear-powered cruise missile and a nuclear-powered underwater drone that cannot be intercepted by enemies, he added. Putin served as president from 2000-2008, then switched to take the PM's post, and returned at the country's helm in 2012.