Putin Taking to TV in Pre-Vote Address

President Vladimir Putin will deliver a nationally televised address this week, ahead of the Dec. 2 State Duma elections in which he is heading the United Russia ticket, the Kremlin said Friday.

Putin recorded the speech Thursday morning at the Ostankino television complex, but the date and time -- as well as the channels that will broadcast it -- have yet to be determined, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Peskov declined to discuss the issues Putin will address, but he confirmed that the speech was recorded at Ostankino -- not at the Kremlin -- because Putin would be speaking as head of the United Russia list, not as the president.

Opposition parties have accused Putin of violating election laws by using his office and unparalleled media access to campaign for United Russia.

Channel One television's evening news Wednesday featured a 16-minute report on Putin's aggressive speech to 5,000 supporters in which he described his political opponents as greedy "jackals" taking orders from foreign patrons.

Central Elections Commission chief Vladimir Churov told a news conference last week that Wednesday's speech did not violate election laws, which require equal media coverage for all parties.

Election laws bar parties from campaigning as of Saturday.

Citing "two sources close to the presidential administration," Vedomosti reported Friday that the speech would last several minutes and echo much of Putin's speech Wednesday.

Citing no one, Kommersant reported Friday that the speech would "contain some news about the relationship between Putin and United Russia," an apparent reference to the possibility of Putin joining the party.

Putin is not a party member.

n First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov told Rossia television channel he will vote for United Russia in the Duma vote. Ivanov has been tipped as one candidate to succeed Putin.