Russian President Vladimir Putin’s scheduled speech to the Federal Assembly on Thursday will be shown for free at 23 theaters of the Cinema 5 chain starting at noon Moscow time.

Putin’s message, according to posters is “Our Goals Will Be Achieved.”

While some of Putin’s speeches and his interview with Tucker Carlson have already been broadcast in cinemas this year, audiences have generally been exclusively state employees and veterans.

But admission to the show will be free for everyone, in the words of representatives of Cinema 5: “the [President’s] message could be heard by as many people as possible.

The Russian news site Kommersant quoted sources from the presidential administration saying that Putin’s message aims to start his “election program and will be devoted mainly to Russian sovereignty -- technological, scientific, military.”


It referenced one source saying that while Putin plans to touch upon the topic of the “special military operation,” specific details of the timing of its completion “are unlikely to be named.”

A Cinema 5 representative said on Tuesday that enthusiasm was high, especially among young people.

“The demand for the broadcast is quite high. The audience is expected to be diverse. In some cities, there is a big demand from young people 20-25 years old, while in others it is mainly older people.”

The spokesperson maintained that they intend to make their “contribution to the development of the country.”

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“We believe that in modern conditions it is important that the ideas that the president will voice are heard by as many residents of our country as possible. The address to the Federal Assembly traditionally sets the direction for the country's strategic development. We believe that with the help of such mass screenings, we will contribute to the strengthening and unification of our society.”

The three candidates that have been allowed to run against Putin, who first took power in 1999, have resorted to the more traditional avenues to get their message across with television and internet campaign ads.


One of those is Communist Party candidate Nikolai Kharitonov, who promises to turn off the “chatter” of the talking heads constantly discussing inflation, money markets and so on.

He focuses on the good things about Russia, and his campaign is marked with images of golden fields of grain, gas and oil wells and the Soviet flag flying above the Kremlin.

He ends with the slogan: “We played at capitalism and that’s enough!”

The far-right nationalist Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) candidate, Leonid Slutsky, presents himself as the natural successor to Vladimir Zhirinovsky. He does not enumerate his platform other than to say “A vote for Slutsky and LDPR is absolutely not a vote against Putin” and that he “won’t take away votes from the president of Russia.”

The third of the approved candidates is Vladislav Davankov from the center New People party, who most consider Kremlin-backed spoiler. His video tries to portray an optimistic and forward-thinking candidate as he rides on a modern train through a snowy forest, speaks to voters and visits high-tech factories. He calls on the electorate to vote for him “so we can all live with dignity and freedom in a modern and peaceful country.”


Meanwhile, Putin doesn’t even appear in his ads. One has footage of bears in the wild over which extracts from past speeches make reference to the “Russian bear,” “our symbol” which “doesn’t leave” and “won’t give up the taiga.” This conveys Russia’s determination to continue to fight whatever enemies might threaten the bear.

Commentators say the purpose of these campaign ads, each of which seems aimed at different sectors of voters, is to secure a strong voter turnout to show the world that Putin has the support of the vast majority of Russians, therefore “Putin cannot be defeated unless all of Russia is defeated.”

Russia, the world and, especially, the three other candidates know that it is a foregone conclusion Putin will win – the aim now is to make sure his winning margin satisfies him and his entourage. Appearing on the big screen while the great and the good of the National Assembly look on can only help.

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