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Putin Out to Soothe ‘Panic’ Over Economy as Oil Sinks Ruble

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President Vladimir Putin will try to persuade Russians today that panic isn’t the answer to their economic pain.

His annual speech to both houses of parliament and other officials, delivered in a chandeliered ceremonial hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, is taking on added importance this year. The ruble is near a record low, the economy is headed for a recession and banks are pleading for state aid.