Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed comparisons to a tsar on Thursday, arguing he "works every day" and listens to what people want.
"Well, this is not true," Putin said when asked about being described as a Russian imperial-era ruler.
"Maybe someone else can be called a tsar. But in my case, I don't reign, I work every day," he told the state-run TASS news agency.
The interview aired on Thursday as part of a series rolled out by TASS this month to mark 20 years since the 67-year-old Putin took the helm of Russian politics.
"It's very important for me to feel and understand what people want." "A tsar is one who just sits there, looks down from above and says: 'They will do as I order,' while he just tries on a cap and looks at himself in the mirror," Putin said.
"On the contrary, I work every day."