Putin answers burning questions in a live broadcast

Russian president Vladimir Putin answered the questions of the Russians living in and outside of the country in the live TV and radio broadcast

Tuesday, 27 September, Russian president Vladimir Putin answered the questions of the Russians living in and outside of the country in the live TV and radio broadcast. The broadcast lasted from 12pm till 2.54pm and was realized by TV channels Rossiya and Channel 1 and by Mayak and Radio Rossii radio stations. President's appearance in the live program was broadcasted in 32 languages in 160 countries.

This was the fourth hotline with the president. In 2001, 2002 and 2003 live conversations with Putin took place in December. In 2004 Putin's major press conference was organized in the Kremlin instead of the hotline. 

This time Russians sent more then one million questions to the president via phone, Internet or text messages. It is worth mentioning that to everyone's surprise there were many elderly people among those who sent text messages to Putin.

As many of the analysts pointed out, Putin ignored the improper questions just like in the previous years. All of the questions were prepared by special services and were distributed among the people's representatives who had been thoroughly chosen.

Today Vladimir Putin has mentioned that it was long past midnight the day before while he was still looking through the questions. “Yesterday I was mostly busy with looking through the questions”, he added.  

A young man who asked Putin the already traditional question about the third term of his presidency pointed out that the present president was intelligent and it was in his presidency that the country had finally started living normally. He added without any flattery that all people's referendum could be suggested to discuss the third term for Vladimir Putin.

However, Putin was staunch as far as this question is concerned. He said he wanted to make way for the young generation and that he would find a place for himself after 2008.

The president pointed out he doubted that the Russians wanted to see one and the same face on three TV channels at the same time with some FSB general on the forth one urging the audience to switch over to the first three. 

Putin reiterated that he was not going to run for presidency for the third time in a row. “My task as I see it is not to seat in the Kremlin for ages but to provide the conditions for the country's development in the long run,” the president said.

He emphasized he was sure that “no drastic alterations should be made in the legislation, in the constitution especially”.

This year workers, employees, pensioners, students and housewives are those five groups of society that are more active in asking the president questions. Just like in the previous years Russian citizens are mostly worried about social problems – wages, pensions, dwelling, public health, support of the armed forces.

According to president-line.ru website the social topic is the most acute among the citizens of Russia. Some of the questions were “when the real estate mortgage will become accessible to a person with average income”, “what are the further perspectives for public health and professional doctors”, “why the petrol prices in Russia are growing” etc.

Russians are interested in political topics as well. Many questions concern corruption in the official circles. People suggest to the president to toughen the criminal punishment for bribery and to take the initiative in fight against the corruption.

Russians also want to know if Putin has already decided on his successor and which qualities he should possess.

One of the questions on the hotline's website is as follows: does Putin agree that the absence of serious opposition in the country leads to the lack of control over the authorities and is a step back in the further democratic development of the country. 

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Author`s name Olga Savka