Putin still sees no one who could replace him as president

During the televised Q&A session with Russian citizens on June 30, Russian President Vladimir Putin answered a question about the transfer of power and the choice of his successor. 

Putin stressed that it is the people of Russia who elect the president of the country.

“My responsibility is to give recommendations to those people who will run for presidency. The time will come, and I hope that I will be able to say that this person deserves to lead such a wonderful country as our Motherland - Russia,” Putin said.

At the same time, the head of state did not agree with the formulation of how he received the reins of power from late President Boris Yeltsin. 

“Yeltsin did not transfer power to me. (...) In the event that the president leaves elected office, the chairman of the government takes office as interim president. I was the chairman of the government,” Putin recalled.

Putin has repeatedly answered questions about choosing his successor before. When answering such questions, the president usually says that the final choice rests with the voters. A year ago, he replied: "One needs to work, rather than look for a successor."

Putin was elected president of the Russian Federation for the first time in 2000 at the age of 48.

TV presenter jokes at Putin during live broadcast

Journalist Naila Asker-zad, who hosted Putin's Q&A session in the studio, asked the president a question about his favorite literary works.

“You have quoted "The Jungle Book", "The Twelve Chairs" many times. What are the three works that have impressed and influenced you most?" the presenter said. 

Putin thought for a second about an answer. The presenter took advantage of the pause and joked: "Maybe something about the Pechenegs?"

The President chuckled at the joke and replied that he loved Leo Tolstoy's "War and Peace" most of all, Pyotr Tchaikovsky's "Piano Concerto No. 1", and the Russian folktale "Kolobok".

Last April, during an online meeting with government officials and governors, Putin compared the coronavirus epidemic to invasions of Pechenegs and Cumans. “Our country has been through serious tests more than once: when tormented by the Pechenegs and the Cumans, Russia coped with everything,” he said. His phrase about the Pechenegs subsequently became a meme on the net. 

Putin's 2021 Q&A session (English)