Direct line: Putin to answer whole nation’s questions for the 15th time [Video]

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June 13th, 2017 – Fort Russ News – 

Izvestia – By Inessa Sinchougova

On June 15, the annual “direct line” with Russian President Vladimir Putin will take place. 

The Q&A will be held for the 15th time. Already, the number of questions received by the information processing centers, exceeds one million. The questions are grouped into categories, and ones of particular nature are assigned a specific regional delegate to deal with it.

What worries Russians

The greatest number of questions, as in previous years, are about housing and communal services, the quality of roads, the fight against corruption, the level of salaries, pensions, benefits and mortgages. 

Popular questions also surround the foreign policy of the state, in particular, the Ukrainian crisis. Residents of Russia, who have friends and relatives in Ukraine, ask if the conflict will continue for a long time, they are interested in solutions to the problem.

Russians are also curious about the personal life of the president. They asked what musical genres the president likes and want to learn about his favorite school subjects.

“Direct Line” in figures

The first broadcast of the program took place on December 24, 2001; Vladimir Putin answered 47 questions, and the broadcast lasted 2 hours and 20 minutes. Over the years, these numbers only grew.

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In 2001, Putin answered a total of 400 thousand people. By 2015 their number exceeded a record 3.25 million. A list of popular topics remained practically unchanged over the past five years. 

On average, the direct line lasts 3.5-4 hours. The record for the duration of the program was established in 2011, when Vladimir Putin, in the status of the Russian Prime Minister, spoke with citizens for 4 hours 32 minutes.

Strong rhetoric – 2016

Last year, the program’s duration was 3 hours and 40 minutes. Around 2.83 million people had asked questions for the broadcast, he managed to answer 80 of them, having been grouped.


The Russian economy is now in a “grey area”. The situation has not corrected fully, but the trend is positive. GDP decline used to be 3.7%. This year the government comes from the fact that we have maintained a slight decline, but only at 0.3%. A growth of 1.4% is expected in the next year. 

Personal matters

“I see Lyudmila Alexandrovna every now and again (former wife). She’s all right. She is happy with her life. I am too. Do we need to raise this issue all the time, I do not know. I understand your concern, but this is not a matter of paramount importance. I hope that someday I will satisfy your curiosity with this question. “ – says Putin.

Ed: In 2001, Putin made a specific policy decision to communicate with the public on a frequent basis. This occurs not only through the annual Q&A session, but also through various forums and industry visits throughout the year. He understood that Russians had a severe distrust of their politicians, due to the decade past. Today, he is one of few, if not the only head of state who pays specific attention to this democratic process. At that, he rarely needs cues from his subordinates to recall specific figures or information about any particular industry or sphere of policy.

Here’s an outtake from the first Q&A session in 2001.

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