MOSCOW, May 27. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a televised Q&A marathon, dubbed The Direct Line, on June 7, the Kremlin press service said on Sunday.
This will be Putin’s first Q&A marathon during his new six-year presidential term and the 16th since 2001. Putin has answered the questions of the country’s citizens 11 times as the president and four times as the prime minister.
According to the Kremlin press service, The Direct Line will start at noon Moscow Time and will be broadcast by Russia's TV Channel One, Rossiya 1, Rossiya 24, OTR, radio stations Mayak, Vesti FM and Radio Rossii.
Starting from 8 a.m. on Sunday and until the program’s end, the questions may be submitted by phone, through SMS and MMS messages, the website or a special mobile app. Users of VKontakte (VK) and Odnoklassniki social networks may also send their questions and video addresses. Users of Moskva-Putinu and OK Live mobile apps will be able to contact with the studio via a direct video link-up. The president will answer the most interesting questions live.
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters earlier that this year’s Q&A marathon would include various technological innovations. "The essence of this unique world event with regard to its content and technology will remain the same, but it will be somewhat fine-tuned regarding the geographical and communication scale, using the technological achievements available to us," the Kremlin spokesman said.
The annual Direct Line with Vladimir Putin is a live TV broadcast, during which the head of state answers questions from the residents of Russia and other countries. The very first Q&A session with the Russian president was held on December 24, 2001. Since then, Direct Lines have been held annually, except for 2004 and 2012. Last year, The Direct Line was held on June 15.
In 2001, Putin received 400,000 questions, and later their number has been increasing and now stands at several millions. The record of The Direct Line was set in 2013, when Putin answered questions during 4 hours and 48 minutes. In 2017, the conversation took 3 hours 56 minutes.