TASS FACTBOX, December 13. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold the customary annual news conference in Moscow on December 14, 2017.
His first meeting with a large audience of mass media workers in 2001 was arranged in response to numerous media requests for an interview with the Russian leader. In 2001-2016 there were twelve such news conferences: seven in 2001-2008 (except for 2005) and five in 2012-2016. While holding the post of Russia’s prime minister (from May 2008 to May 2012) Putin paused such meetings with the media. The tradition resumed after his re-election as the head of state.
The first news conference in 2001 was the shortest. It lasted one hour and 35 minutes. The 2008 event turned out the longest - four hours and forty minutes. Starting from 2004 Putin answered journalists’ questions for no less than three hours in a row.
Since 2001 media audiences at Putin’s news conference have been up 2.9 times. The first one in 2001 gathered more than 500 correspondents, and the latest, in 2016 - 1,437, which was an all-time record-high.
In 2001-2008, the number of journalists who addressed their questions to Putin grew with every passing year. In 2001, he answered questions from 20 journalists, half of them representing foreign media outlets. In 2008, a total of 80 journalists, including 18 from foreign media put their questions to the Russian leader. The 2008 result was the highest ever. In 2012-2015, the number of journalists who addressed Putin with questions developed a certain downtrend. In 2012, Putin answered questions from 62 correspondents (including nine foreign), in 2013 - from 52 (11), and in 2015, from 32 (5). In 2016, 48 journalists, including 10 foreign ones managed to ask Putin for his opinion on this or that score.
At first, Putin met with journalists in the Round Hall of Building 14 of the presidential residence inside the Kremlin. It seats approximately 800. In 2012-2016, as the building was closed for renovation, Putin’s rendezvous with the media workers were moved to the International Trade Center on Krasnopresnenskaya Embankment.
Putin’s first news conferences were telecast live on Channel One (before 2002, ORT) and Rossiya and Mayak radio stations. In 2008, these channels showed only parts of the news conference. It was telecast in full on the Vesti-24 and Vesti-FM radio from beginning to end. Starting from 2012 Putin’s news conferences were aired live by Channel One, Rossiya-1 and Rossiya-24 TV channels and Mayak, Vesti FM and Radio Russia radio stations.