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MOSCOW, April 24 (Itar-Tass) - Over 1.2 million Russians have asked questions to President Vladimir Putin’s question-and-answer conference, the call centre told Itar-Tass.
“As of 2 p.m. Moscow time at least 957,509 calls have been received. A total of 174,664 SMS messages and 103,505 letters have been placed on the special website. Thus, totally we received 1.235 million questions,” the call centre reported.
The special call centre started receiving questions on Sunday afternoon and will work till the end of the conference. The question-and-answer conference will be broadcast by Channel One, Rossiya 1 and Rossiya 24 in the afternoon on Thursday, April 25.
The statistics of previous days prove that residents of the Central Federal District ask questions more actively. Then residents of the Volga Region and Russia’s North-West, as well as the Southern Federal District and the Siberian Federal District follow. “Many calls are received from abroad, as well as from Ukraine, the United States, Canada, Israel, France, Germany and, of course from the CIS countries - Kazakhstan, Moldova and Tajikistan,” the call centre said.
Employees say almost one third of people between 36-55 years old ask questions more actively. Employees are surprised that more than 1 percent of calls are received from children and teenagers aged up to 18 years.
Commenting on subjects, specialists point to housing, housing and communal services, and social welfare, as well as issues related to children. “It is surprising that the subjects of industry, construction and transport are raised oftener than politics, state or society,” the employees say.
Answer-and-question television conferences were started in 2001 when Putin was elected Russia’s president. The tradition remains in force when Putin took premiership’s office in 2008. Totally, Putin held 10 direct conferences with citizens. From 2005 questions are received through SMS messages and placed on the special Internet website. Lots of citizens asked different questions to the president. If in 2001 Putin replied to 400,000 questions, in 2002 over 1.400 million questions were put to the Russian president. In 2003 Putin replied to over 1.500 million questions. The year 2007 became the record one: 2.506 million questions were put to the Russian leader.