04:05 GMT +320 June 2019
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    Vladimir Putin at annual year-end presser

    WATCH Putin Fire Soviet Howitzer During X-Mas Celebrations in St Petersburg

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    The Russian president took part in Orthodox Christmas celebrations overnight on Monday in his hometown of Saint Petersburg, attending a liturgy in the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral, where he was baptised as a child.

    President Putin fired a shot from a Soviet 122-mm D-30 howitzer during celebrations in the Peter and Paul Fortress, the citadel founded by Russian Emperor Peter the Great in the early 18th century. The video of the shot has been circulating online.

    The midday firing of a gun in the fortress is a tradition that is rooted in the era of Peter the Great. In the Russian Empire, shots were fired to mark military victories, memorable events in the Royal family as well as to warn about possible floods in Saint Petersburg.

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