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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, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at today’s Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nation’s premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the city’s elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s latest film “Mommy” at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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