MOSCOW – Vladimir Putin has added a twist to the stolid ritual of Russian presidential New Year's Eve address by doing two versions this year.
Russian leaders traditionally make short, prerecorded messages to be broadcast as the year begins in each of the country's nine time zones.
The address broadcast in Russia's Far East was typical, showing Putin at the Kremlin and calling for Russians to work together, according to Russian news websites. But an hour later, Putin came out with a different speech mentioning this week's suicide bombings in Volgograd that killed 34 people and vowing to destroy terrorists, reports said.
Putin made that recording Tuesday while visiting the city of Khabarovsk. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said there wasn't time to get it to the Far East, according to Ekho Moskvy radio.