25 April 2013
President Vladimir Putin is to hold a live call-in show at noon in the form of a televised dialogue with Russian public. This is going to be Putin’s 11th questions-and-answers session and the seventh with him as a president. It’s yet to be seen how long it will take the Russian leader this time to bate people’s curiosity.
The duration of hotline dialogues has been inching year in year out, with the phone-in lasting for 2 hours 20 minutes in 2001, 3 hours 6 minutes in 2007 and a record 4 hours 32 minutes on 15 December 2011. A total duration of Putin’s frank dialogues with Russians totals some 32 hours.
Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters the upcoming session would have a “particularly diverse” agenda. He said the 2011 show saw the President field a record 90 questions, but added more and more people were taking interest in an increasing number of issues. He pointed out the Thursday show would probably focus on “children, abandoned and street children and issues related to custody over them,” as well as on economics and global politics that have moved to the fore after the presidential elections.
Call centers confirmed many questions that have been pre-recorded so far concern housing, real estate and social security. Among other hot potato issues are the country’s industry, construction projects and transport.
In an interview with Rossia 24 channel, Mr. Peskov confessed there had always been many “awkward questions” posed to the President during these phone-ins. He stressed that Russians would be welcome not only to ask questions but to discuss them with Vladimir Putin and even argue with him in a live dialogue. Organizers of the 2013 call-in said the show would have several guests from political parties, the All-Russian People’s Front and other prominent figures that have been at the front burner of the country's life this year.
Putin's Direct Line call center processes over a million messages
More than a million Russians have already posed questions for the Russian president’s "Direct Line” program. A special call center continues to receive questions and will operate until the end of the program.
"Direct Line" will be aired on the following TV channels: "Channel 1",
"Russia 1", "Russia 24" at noon on Thursday, April 25.
Also broadcasting will be radio stations "Vesti.FM", "Mayak" and "Radio Russia".
All Q&A sessions with Mr. Putin are traditionally dominated by social and healthcare issues.
For Putin, this will be the 11th "nation-wide interview," and his 7th in the
rank of president.
Voice of Russia, TASS