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Putin to give annual live interview to Russians

April 25, 2013, 2:25 UTC+3

Putin will give a live interview to the Russians in the Direct Line at 12:00 Moscow time on Thursday

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MOSCOW, April 25 (Itar-Tass) - Russian President Vladimir Putin will give a live interview to the Russians in the Direct Line at 12:00 Moscow time on Thursday. This will be the 11th “national interview”, including the seventh one at the post of the president for the last 12 years.

No one knows how long the president will answer the questions this time. “We do not ever predict the duration of this dialogue,” Russian president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov told Itar-Tass. In reply to the question, whether another record for the duration of the interview is expected, he noted, “We do not ever set such goals.” The press secretary is confident that the most important thing is the quality, but not the quantity.

However, the duration of “The Direct Line with Vladimir Putin” invariably increased in the previous years. If in 2001 he answered the questions for two hours and 20 minutes, three hours and six minutes in 2007, he set a record of four hours and 32 minutes on December 15, 2011. Putting together all the time, which Putin spent in the live interviews with people, it will make 32 hours.

Peskov pledged that the content of the Direct Line this year will be “mostly diversified”. For instance, last time in 2011 Putin answered more than 90 questions. The press secretary also noted that this time “the scope of the issues, which will be of interest to people, will grow.” In his view, on Thursday the issues of “children, abandoned children, homeless children and the issues related with children’s adoption” will be prioritized. Meanwhile, the economic issues will be raised, the share of the issues related with international problems will grow, because Putin is in charge of them after taking the post of the president again.

The operators of the call centre, which receives and processes applications for questions, noted that the Russians are mostly concerned with the problems of housing, the housing and public utility sector and social support. This year the problems of the production industries, construction and transport are raised frequently.

Peskov said live in an interview with the television news channel Rossiya 24 that “there are always many inconvenient questions (for the president).” He also promised that the Russians will be able not only to hear the opinion of the president, but also engage in the dialogue with him and debate with him. So, this year the television channels, which organized the Direct Line, will invite in the studio not only representatives of the parties or the All-Russia People’s Front, but also several “personalities, who dominated in some issues in the course of the year.”

For some Russians “The Direct Lines with Vladimir Putin” became the last chance to settle their pressing problems. Peskov noted that Putin interferes in the settlement of the most awful situations, “There are really pressing problems. Moreover, there are some cries of despair. There are absolutely heartrending requests from people, who got in emergency situations, difficult situations in the life.”

For the previous years the technology of the Direct Lines has been elaborated in all details, but each time it is improved. The call centre began working four days before the live interview as usual. The call centre is receiving the calls, sms messages and Internet messages. Now their number already exceeded 1.5 millions. During the special live program Putin will answer the questions, which came though these channels, as well as the questions asked live. Several tens of people were invited in the Moscow studio for the purpose, the studios were also organized in six Russian regions. Meanwhile, the presidential press secretary noted that the approach to the forming of the audience of the president was changed drastically this time. “In some places we will have representatives of culture and intelligentsia, scientific people and students in some places, the veterans of the Great Patriotic War, representatives of the patriotic and military search teams and rural residents in some other places,” Peskov said. “We will also invite a large family with very many adopted children,” he underlined.

The television channels Channel One, Rossiya 1, Rossiya 24, the radio stations Mayak, Vesti FM and Radio Rossii will broadcast “The Direct Line with Vladimir Putin”. Vladimir Putin began to give live annual televised interviews with the Russians in 2001 after taking the post of the Russian president. This tradition was not interrupted in 2008, when Putin assumed the post of the prime minister. Putin decided not to hold an annual interview only in 2012. The dialogue with the Russians was postponed from winter to spring so that people will not be standing for hours amid frosts, waiting for an opportunity to ask a question to the president.

Putin noted that this kind of communication with the Russians gives to the state authorities “an opportunity to focus attention on vitally important problems.”


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