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Putin Answers 81 of 2.5 Million Questions During Call-In

Published: April 18, 2014 (Issue # 1806)




  • Photo: Kremlin.ru

President Vladimir Putin answered 81 questions during his annual televised call-in program on Thursday — a tiny fraction of the more than 2.5 million that were submitted before the show began.

The call-in, Putin's 12th such event, started at noon and lasted 3 hours 56 minutes, about an hour shorter than last year's record 4-hour 48-minute marathon, during which he answered 85 questions, RIA Novosti reported.

Organizers of the state-run television program said they had received more than 2.5 million question submissions as of an hour before the show, including more than 1.8 million phone calls and 346,000 text messages, Interfax reported. The organizers added that more than 175,000 questions had been submitted via the Internet.

Putin's public question-and-answer session, the first of which was held in 2001, also featured a number of prepared segments with questions from various outside locations. In the recently annexed city of Sevastopol in Crimea, reporters took questions from a crowd of a few hundred people gathered along the waterfront, while members of the Valdai discussion club, including German political analyst Alexander Rahr, posed questions from a television studio in Berlin.

U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden made an appearance in a pre-recorded video, asking Putin a question about the Russian government's surveillance efforts.

About half of Putin's responses dealt with Russia's actions in Ukraine and international relations. But the president also answered a number of personal pleas from various Russian towns, as was common in previous years' shows, and answered several questions from citizens affected by flooding in Russia's Far East last year.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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