MOSCOW, December 8. /TASS/. The Russian Presidential Administration has already received more than 600,000 questions from journalists and ordinary citizens for President Vladimir Putin’s annual press conference on December 14, which this year will be combined with his traditional Direct Line Q&A session, Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.
"There are many appeals and questions [for the president] and we have already topped the figure of 600,000," Peskov said at a news briefing, speaking about preparations for Putin’s combined annual press conference and Q&A session to be held on December 14.
According to Peskov, the Russian president "is preparing thoroughly" for the upcoming event.
"He [Putin] reviews and analyzes the questions personally, especially since [diverse] questions from citizens are organized according to relevant categories based on key issues," Peskov continued. "They are systematized and he [Putin] has the opportunity to take a look at the main categories of topics [that the questions touch upon]."
The presidential spokesman added that experts from the All-Russia People's Front are also involved in the task of processing and analyzing all incoming questions.
"Obviously not all of the questions will be put on air during the upcoming event, but the [All-Russia People's] Front will, as it has traditionally done, continue with its work until the [president gives his] response to the very last question asked," Peskov said. "This is why this [combined press conference and Q&A session] is such a large-scale project."
The Direct Line format gives ordinary Russians the chance to speak directly to the president, as he fields questions from citizens live on air for several hours. The first presidential Q&A session was held back in 2001. The Direct Line event has been held every year since then, except for 2004 and 2012. In 2020, elements of the Direct Line program were included in Putin’s traditional major press conference. In 2021, the Direct Line with Putin was held on June 30, while in 2022 there was no Q&A session.