Vladimir Putin has canceled New Year's holidays for government ministers in light of the country's economic crisis. Usually, ministers take off from January 1 through January 12, which is when Russians celebrate the New Year. "For the government, for your agencies we cannot afford this long holiday, at least this year - you know what I mean,” Putin told the ministers at a televised session. Putin also blamed rising vodka prices for the country's economic problems, rather than address the Western sanctions punishing Russia for its actions in Ukraine. While the ruble rallied slightly this week, Russia is still predicted to hit a recession in 2015.