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Putin Stays Home to Avoid Disrupting Moscow Traffic

Putin guiding the crown prince of Abu Dhabi at their meeting Wednesday. Maxim Shipenkov

Expect to see President Vladimir Putin at little less in the Kremlin these days.

While Putin kept busy at work on Wednesday, hiring a new regional development minister and meeting with the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, he carried out both activities at his Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow.

"The president is minimizing his meetings in the Kremlin and is preferring to hold them in Ogaryovo to avoid disturbing Muscovites," Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to Interfax. "There is no substantive difference: If the meeting does not require any kind of ceremony, it is held in the suburban residence."

When Putin does travel around Moscow, streets are cleared in advance of his motorcade, which typically consists of a dozen black luxury vehicles and white-and-blue police cars, all with flashing lights. The result is snarled traffic and angrily honking drivers.

Peskov said Putin has been trying to reach the Kremlin by air rather than motorcade when he does need to go there for an event.

"He really has cut the use of motorcades to the minimum in Moscow," he said.

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