In December 2000, during his first term in office as President of Russia, Vladimir Putin granted a rare interview to Radio-Canada.
On March 26, 2000, Vladimir Putin took power in the presidential election in Russia. A team from Radio-Canada's Téléjournal was on site in Moscow to cover this event, which was already shaping up to be a real political turning point.
Good evening and welcome to the Téléjournal, which is brought to you partly from Moscow, announces news anchor Stéphan Bureau on Radio-Canada on March 26, 2000.
A few hours earlier, the Russians were called to the polls to choose a new president, the one who will have to close the books on the time of Boris Yeltsin.
A democratic transition, without violence – it is important to underline this –, since political history here has often been written in blood, mentions Stéphan Bureau in the introduction to Téléjournal.
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From Moscow, host Stéphan Bureau and correspondent Elizabeth Palmer unveil the preliminary results of the Russian presidential election which gives victory to Vladimir Putin.
Correspondent Elizabeth Palmer followed for the Téléjournal this election day in Russia which takes place in 94,000 polling stations spread over the country's eleven time zones.< /p>
Although the long vote count is not over, the results already show that Vladimir Putin, Boris Yeltsin's runner-up, is well ahead. When he resigned in December 1999, the Russian head of state appointed Vladimir Putin as interim president. The Russian presidential election of March 26, 2000 was to consecrate him.
After going to vote in Moscow in a black Mercedes with his entourage of bodyguards, Vladimir Putin says on Russian national television that a victory in the first round is important for him.
Vladimir Putin effectively wins the first and only round of the presidential election Russia, but its victory is weighed down by some gains for the Communist Party, led by Gennady Zyuganov.
These votes for the Communist Party express a fairly strong disgust for everything surrounding the government of Boris Yeltsin, plagued by escapades and corruption, underlines journalist Elizabeth Palmer. Under Yeltsin, Russians tasted not only democracy but also market-driven misery, a shift to capitalism that created a lot of inequality.
Even though Vladimir Putin has never revealed the details of his program, but a majority of Russians believe him capable of restoring order and prosperity to the country.
Me, I voted for Putin because he is young, responsible and tough, says Russian voter.
These voters know that Putin is tough, because he was intransigent during the war in Chechnya, also underlines the correspondent for Radio-Canada in Moscow.
He will quickly make his mark and s& #x27;imposing, predicts Elizabeth Palmer.
“That seems to be his personality. A very decisive man who likes to act.
— Journalist Elizabeth Palmer
Host Stéphan Bureau talks with Russian television host and commentator Vladimir Pozner to try to understand the profile of the new Russian President, Vladimir Putin.
A former KGB agent, Vladimir Poutine intrigues a lot, and not only outside his country, says host Stéphan Bureau in this second segment of the Téléjournal of March 26, 2000.
< p class="e-p">In the company of Vladimir Pozner, host and political commentator on Russian television, he tries to find out more about this very mysterious man, even for Russian voters.
It is difficult to decode Vladimir Putin's intentions, he says at the outset, since this man has boasted of not presenting an electoral program in order to prevent it from being torn to pieces in the square. public.
Are we witnessing a historic turning point, a democratic transition? Here again, the Russian observer has difficulty deciding.
We don't know who Vladimir Putin is, explains Vladimir Pozner. For many of us, he says good things, but he tells everyone what that person wants to hear.
“I don't know if it's okay be good for democracy in Russia. »
— Russian observer Vladimir Pozner
We know that Vladimir Putin is a man of action, a judoka, a former spy, as shown by the images that scroll by during the #x27;interview. This is what he emphasized during his presidential campaign: action rather than talk.
However, Vladimir Pozner is concerned about Putin's refusal to campaign effectively, answer journalists' questions or participate in public discussions.
“He is clear that once elected, he will become the real Putin, but I don't know what that means.
— Russian observer Vladimir Pozner
From an economic point of view, he is a man who wants to develop the market, argues the Russian political commentator, but whether Putin is really a democrat remains to be seen.
The war made the president. That's for sure, says Vladimir Pozner. We see that he is smart, he is strong, he defends his country.
“Putin did something which, for the Russian, was the most important. He said: "We will settle this question of Chechnya" and he did.
—Russian observer Vladimir Pozner
In the company of a group of Canadian journalists, correspondent Michel Cormier talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Nine months later, Russian President Vladimir Putin receives a group of Canadian journalists at the Kremlin in what appears to be an economic seduction operation.
In this context, he gave an interview to correspondent Michel Cormier for the Téléjournal of December 14, 2000.
During this extremely rare interview, the President of Russia expresses the wish that a more objective image of his country be presented. He is sorry that the Canadian government still does not recognize the Russian market economy and imposes too many restrictions on its industries.
Vladimir Putin assures that he has undertaken a great reform – which he calls the dictatorship of law – to integrate the world economy and to meet its standards. He also intends to strengthen the state and better supervise the Russian oligarchs, who have too strong an influence on the country.
People who have more money cannot lead society without regard to established procedures, he argues. If it doesn't please those used to anarchy, I'm sorry, they'll have to abide by the rules.
Vladimir Putin defines himself during this interview as a proud man: proud of his past as a spy, which played an important role in his life, and proud of his homeland, Russia, as well as of its history.
Against the opposition of many Russians — including former President Boris Yeltsin — he has just reinstated the Soviet national anthem. I believe that if we pretend that we cannot be proud of anything that happened during the Soviet era, we are making a big mistake, says Vladimir Putin.
“No one can deny the impact Russia has had on world civilization.
— Russian President Vladimir Putin
The Russian head of state then tempers the fears that could arise by mentioning that the cold war is over and that the clashes between the two nuclear superpowers are a thing of the past. We are not looking to make enemies, he assures us. We seek cooperation.
“We are in favor of a multipolar world. The world does not need the monopoly of one state. »
— Russian President Vladimir Putin
Journalist Michel Cormier ends the interview by addressing the delicate issue of the war in Chechnya. You know, Chechnya's problem is not only Russia's problem, says Vladimir Putin. I regret that the West is not well informed about the situation.
“We share the West's sympathy for the crisis humanitarian. These civilians should not suffer. But from our point of view, we had to act. »
—Russian President Vladimir Putin
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