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Bad roads, housing, Ukraine and elections among top questions for Putin’s Q&A session

June 08, 2017, 17:43 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian president will hold his traditional Q&A session on June 15

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© Sergei Savostianov/TASS

MOSCOW, June 8. /TASS/. The poor state of roads, housing, the Ukraine crisis and upcoming presidential elections in Russia are among the most popular questions put for an annual televised question and answer session, which Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold on June 15.

The list of the most popular questions for "The Direct Line with Vladimir Putin" was posted on the program’s website

What concerns the Russians 

The questions addressed to President Putin cover problems in the housing and utilities sector, military service, the retirement age, the ruble exchange rate, foreign policy and even the quality of domestic fish products.

Some addresses are formulated very concisely while some required many words and question marks.

"When will child allowances be raised?" reads one of the most popular questions, for example.

"What do you think about how our national football team will perform at the World Cup next year?" Russians ask Putin.

One of the addresses included in the group of popular questions does not put a question mark at all: "I want Syria to have peace and that there is no war between Muslims and Christians."

Another popular question relates to the Moscow government’s unveiled renovation program to resettle Muscovites from Soviet-era five-story apartment blocks known as Khrushchyovki (Khrushchev-era housing blocks) to modern comfortable dwellings. The question, however, is asked from a surprisingly different angle: "Why are efforts being put in to fix up Moscow only, while St. Petersburg has been ignored? Khrushchyovki are being pulled down in Moscow while St. Petersburg is chock-full of Khrushchev-era apartment blocks and the program for tearing down several residential quarters has been frozen."

Popular video addresses inquire about the fate of Russia’s maternity capital (state support for mothers giving birth to a second or third child) after 2018, problems with employment after a certain age and whether the retirement age will be increased.

Traditionally, several popular questions formulated in various formats (the text or a video), for example, from Karelia in north Russia or the Yamal-Nenets autonomous district in northwest Siberia address the issue of bad roads: "What do we pay taxes for?"

There are complaints about the insufficient number of kindergartens, the irresponsibility of bureaucrats who dodge punishment, the high cost of air tickets and medicines and so on. One person remarks that "we have the largest fish reserves in the world but why fish in supermarkets is not Russian and of bad quality?"

Some popular questions address the Russian-Ukrainian relations. Specifically, a user from Ukraine complains about the ban on Russian social networks in Ukraine and some other restrictions, asking about whether it will be possible "to overcome this tragedy and this rupture in the relations between the two peoples."

Another author inquires about whether there is some other exit from the Ukraine crisis, apart from the Minsk accords on the political settlement in east Ukraine.

Personal addresses relate to the questions about the Russian president’s music preferences, his favorite rock group and what his favorite subject at school was. Putin is also asked about whether he intends to run for presidency again in 2018.

As Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, the number of addresses to the Direct Line with Vladimir Putin topped 100,000 during the first day the line was opened.

According to Peskov, work is under way to analyze incoming questions and prepare for their transfer to the president "who always carefully looks through the bulk of these addresses.".

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