Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he intends to halve poverty in the country within the next six years, in his annual state of the nation speech in Moscow.

The speech is the last before an election he is expected to win in 17 days time.
Putin is laying out his key policies for his fourth presidential term.The Russian leader said every person matters to us adding that he wanted to increase employment and longevity.

Commenting on the country’s military might, Putin said operation in Syria showed Russia’s increased capabilities in defense.He said Russia is improving its military infrastructure in arctic.

President Putin faces seven challengers on 18 March although none is expected to attract widespread support. They do not include prominent opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who has been barred from running and has called on voters to boycott the poll.