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Kremlin says regional officials already tackling issues raised prior to Putin’s Q&A

The Russian Investigative Committee launched 12 inquiries into complaints, submitted by Russians to Putin
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov Mikhail Metzel/TASS
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov
© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSKOV, June 20. /TASS/. Regional authorities have already started dealing with problems, reported by citizens to the hotline of the Russian president’s annual question-and-answer session due on Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russia’s Channel One.

"In fact, this year saw certain progress made on some issues even before they were voiced by the president. In other words, right after a channel makes a report about a certain issue, local authorities start to take measures. This is a very positive trend," he said.

According to the Kremlin spokesman, Putin devotes several days to studying information, prepared for him by various state agencies prior to the Q&A session

"He personally watches some of the video addresses and written messages. This process continues almost until the very last moment before the start of the session," Peskov said.

Meanwhile, the Russian Investigative Committee said in a statement its officers have already launched 12 inquiries into complaints, submitted by Russians to the program’s hotline.

Those complaints are primarily about violations committed during the resettlement of people whose homes had been deemed unfit for living, frozen buyer-funded construction projects, lack of access to potable water in some settlements and other problems. Pre-investigation checks have also been launched into other complaints, including the one about the lack of proper medical aid for a girl diagnosed with cancer.

On June 20, 2019 at 12:00 Moscow Time the annual special program, headlined 'Direct Line with Vladimir Putin,' will be aired by Channel One, Rossiya-1, Rossiya-24, NTV, OTR, Mir TV channels, and Mayak, Vesti FM and Radio Rossiya radio stations.

Questions will be submitted by phone, through SMS and MMS messages starting from 8.00 a.m. Moscow Time on June 9 and until the end of the program on June 20. The president will answer the most interesting and pressing questions live.

The questions may be also sent through Moskva-Putinu mobile app and website. The users of VKontakte (VK) and Odnoklassniki social networks will be able to send their questions and video messages. The users of Moskva-Putinu and OK Live mobile apps will be able to contact with the studio via a direct video link-up.

According to infographics released by the Rossiya-24 channel, a total of 1,053,326 questions have been submitted as of 09:00 Moscow time on Wednesday. More than half of them (616,505 questions) were submitted by phone, 291,311 - via SMS and MMS messages, 55,133 - via the mobile app, 49,800 - via the program’s website and 40,557 - via social networks.

This will be Putin’s 17th Q&A session. The very first Q&A session with the Russian president was held in late 2001. Since then, Direct Lines have been held annually, except for 2004 and 2012. Last year, the Q&A marathon took place on June 7.