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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

Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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