Putin: The bear never asks permission
Have no fear, Vladimir Putin is here. That seems to be the message in an epic promo released ahead of the Russian president's annual news conference as the country's economy plummets.
The promotion, released by a state-owned Russian channel, has the feel of a movie trailer, showing scenes of tanks, crying children and plenty of Putin.
He declares in a particularly memorable sound bite: "The bear never asks permission."
That seems to be a problem these days in Russia -- it's a bear, not a bull market.
Putin who has held power for 15 years, is expected to address the economic problems vexing Russia as falling oil prices, a diving ruble and Western sanctions have crippled the country's economy.
Moscow is trying to prevent a currency crisis turning into an economic catastrophe, and finds itself more isolated than at any other point in the last 25 years -- due to its actions over Ukraine.
Russia's slide toward economic crisis and why it matters
Worried that their currency is now worth less, Russians have been exchanging rubles for dollars and stocking up on imported goods. And Russian banks and companies have lost access to Western sources of finance because of sanctions imposed over Ukraine, but still have foreign debts to pay.
Yet in the lead up to Putin's press conference, Russia Channel 1's glossy promo doesn't touch on any of the financial woes facing the world's ninth largest economy.
The promotion shows scenes of war and triumph at this year's Winter Olympics in Sochi as the narrator intones in a baritone about "a year of tough decisions" and "long-awaited victories."
"How it turned out for Russia and its president, he will tell himself."
A defiant Putin proclaims, "Russia has never changed its orientation."
Putin still enjoys approval ratings in the high 80s. His popularity surged as Russia backed separatists in east Ukraine and annexed Crimea earlier this year. CNN