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Putin to Give State-of-Nation on Wednesday

Putin's state-of-the-nation address is expected to touch on the recent anti-corruption crackdown that has swept the Defense Ministry as well as define the president's strategy going forward.

President Vladimir Putin's first state-of-the-nation address since he returned to the presidency earlier this year is scheduled for Wednesday.

The speech to both chambers of parliament, expected to touch upon the recent anti-corruption crackdown that has swept the Defense Ministry as well as define Putin's strategy going forward, has traditionally featured the president standing for more than an hour.

Speculation that back trouble was keeping Putin confined to his Novo-Ogaryovo residence has abounded in recent months. The president sat for the majority of a question-and-answer session at a Moscow auditorium Monday.

Although Putin's annual call-in show has been delayed until springtime, his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, has said that the state-of-the-nation would not be postponed. Wednesday is expected to be the first time Putin has given the speech since 2007.

This year's address will touch on issues of corruption and patriotism, in light of a series of corruption scandals that have shaken top state institutions, Izvestia reported, citing a presidential administration source.

Dmitry Abzalov, a senior analyst at the Center for Political Trends, told RIA-Novosti on Tuesday that Putin would "most likely" reiterate earlier proposals, such as caps on bureaucrats' property or bank accounts abroad.

Alexei Mukhin, head of the Center for Political information, said Putin might propose some constitutional changes. The speech falls on Constitution Day.

Some pundits said Putin might propose abolishing the constitutional provision that  a person cannot assume the presidency more than twice in a row. Putin used the provision to return to the presidency this year after Dmitry Medvedev had served a term.

Analysts also said Putin would talk about proposals outlined in several pre-election articles covering foreign affairs, the armed forces and nation-building, among other topics.

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