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More than one million Russians submit questions for Putin’s Q&A session

June 13, 2017, 12:32 UTC+3 MOSCOW

This will be the 15th Q&A marathon for Vladimir Putin

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© Mikhail Klimentyev/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS

MOSCOW, June 13. /TASS/. Two days before Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annual televised question and answer session, more than 1.3 million Russians have submitted their questions, Rossiya 24 broadcaster said on Tuesday.

The most popular questions, published on the official website of the program, are devoted to the poor state of roads, housing and construction, mortgage, responsibility of officials, education, the Ukrainian crisis and sanctions.

Foreign policy issues are also among top questions. Russians want to know the president’s stance on the reasons behind Russophobia in the West, who really benefits from sanctions and if there is any solution to the crisis in Ukraine. "Besides the Minsk agreements, is there any way out of the Ukrainian crisis?" one of the addresses read. "We have relatives and friends there, everyone is suffering. We are wasting time, and the noose is getting tighter."

Many questions are devoted to Putin’s possible participation in the 2018 presidential election campaign. Personal addresses relate to the questions about the Russian president’s favorite rock group and his favorite holiday destination.

According to Rossiya 24 TV channel, the organizers have received 674,000 phone calls, 300,000 SMS and MMS messages, 226,000 questions through social networks, 100,000 questions through the program’s website and 12,000 video messages.

This will be the 15th Q&A marathon for Putin. The Channel One, Rossiya 1, Rossiya 24, radio stations Mayak, Vesti FM, Radio Rossii will broadcast the annual special program "Direct Line with Vladimir Putin" at 12:00 Moscow time, the Kremlin press service said. The president will give answers to questions from the nation - related to political, social and economic aspects as well as international affairs.

The questions may be submitted by phone, SMS and MMS messages, and also through the website or a special mobile app. Users of two social networks - VKontakte (VK) and Odnoklassniki - may also send their questions and also video addresses. The questions are accepted starting from 8 a.m. on June 4 and until the end of the program. The president will answer the most interesting of them on the air.

The first televised Q&A session took place on December 24, 2001, and later on, the sessions became annual, with the exception for years 2004 and 2012. Putin has participated in 14 programs - ten times as the president, and four times as the prime minister. During the first Direct Line in 2001, as many as 400,000 questions were sent to the president, and every year the number was growing - by 2015 it was more than 3.25 million and last year it was 3 million.

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