The Russian president neither knows nor cares about what you’d call his country’s current self-inflicted economic malaise. You want to use the word “crisis”? Go ahead—especially if you’re outside of the jurisdiction of his secret police. Just know that he’s not a big fan of that word. He’d call it something more like a temporary unpleasantness brought about by the unjust actions of everyone who is not Vladimir Putin.
“We are going through a trying period, difficult times at the moment,” said Mr. Putin, answering questions at his annual end-of-year news conference. “I would not call the situation a crisis. You may call it whatever you want.”