MOSCOW, June 14. /TASS/. Nearly 1.6 mln people have submitted their questions for Russian President Vladimir Putin, with one day to go before the program goes live.
The Rossiya 24 TV channel, which will broadcast the Direct Line program on June 15, says that as of Wednesday morning, the organizers have received 835,571 phone calls, 363,141 SMS and MMS messages website and 15,171 video messages, while 254,925 questions have been sent through social networks and 129,505 questions have been received through the program’s website at moskva-putinu.ru. A total of 1,598,313 questions have been submitted.
The most frequently asked questions are being published at the website, they concern road conditions, housing construction, municipal services, mortgage, education issues, the situation in Ukraine and sanctions.
"Will we succeed in overcoming this tragedy, this rift between the two peoples?" a Ukrainian citizen asked. "I want peace to return to Syria, so that there is no war between the Christians and Muslims," a Russian citizen said. "There are no jobs, factories are closed, the town is slowly disappearing," a resident of the Medvezhyegorsk town in Karelia said. A resident of the city of Novosibirsk complained about the lack of kindergarten places. Some people ask the president for personal advice and even for his assistance in getting a job.
Students from the 11th grade, who are currently taking the Unified State Exams, complain about poor organization. "Why students are facing such severe conditions? Why children are searched with metal detectors with only police officers and trained dogs around? Are we like dangerous criminals who may damage others? We are facing so much pressure so our exam results are being affected… Please do something about it," a school student wrote.
Many questions are personal. People ask Putin what was his favorite school subject, of he ever went to a children’s summer camp, when he was on leave for 28 days in a row, where he would like to travel and whom of his friends or colleagues he would take with him. A number of questions concern Putin’s plans for 2018 when the presidential election will take place in Russia.
The upcoming Direct Line with Vladimir Putin will be the 15th Q&A marathon for Putin. The Channel One, Rossiya 1 and Rossiya 24 TV channels, as well as the Mayak, Vesti FM and Radio Rossii radio stations will start broadcasting the program at 12:00 Moscow time (09:00 GMT) on June 15. As always, the president will answer to people’s questions related to the country’s political, social and economic life, as well as to international affairs.
Questions may be submitted by phone, through SMS and MMS messages, the website or a special mobile app. Users of the VKontakte (VK) and Odnoklassniki social networks may also send their questions and video addresses. The questions will be accepted until the end of the program. The president will answer the most interesting of them live.
Putin’s first televised Q&A session took place on December 24, 2001. Later on, the sessions became annual, though there was no live program in 2004 and 2012. Putin has already participated in 14 programs - ten times as president and four times as prime minister. During the first Direct Line in 2001, a total of 400,000 questions were asked and the number of questions has been growing ever since. In 2016, three million questions were submitted.