Translated by Inessa Sinchougova
13th April, 2016
Note: On Thursday, 14th April at 12:00 UTC President Putin will hold an annual, live Q&A session. Many of the questions are grouped beforehand via a call center to allow for a streamlined response in the amount of time available. Those that don’t make it to the show or are singular in nature are answered separately – “no call goes unnoticed.” Others are asked directly by calling in during the show. You can submit your question here, but for now this is only possible in Russian. The question I submitted is in relation to the availability of more languages for this portal, for a more global audience in 2017!
The amount of questions submitted to the President on the eve of the Q&A session has surpassed one million – confirms press secretary Dmitry Peskov on 13th April 2016. Peskov has stated that the majority of questions have been asked via the telephone – however it is also possible to submit via SMS, MMS, official internet channels and even VKontakte (Russian version of Facebook).
The call-center set up for the purposes of the Q&A is working non-stop, with many operators taking the queries. Lines have become overloaded due to the sheer amount of interest. While there have been over a million recorded phone calls, there are also 200,000 text messages and messages via social media. The majority of questions are of socioeconomic nature, however a substantial amount have also been about the state of our roads. People have even recorded videos of themselves on highways documenting some of the despicable states they’re in.
Then there are matters of the economy – the Press-Secretary has confirmed that people are most worried about price rises and salaries not being paid in a timely manner. The value of the ruble has surprisingly not featured amongst questions as much as was anticipated.
People have made contact from abroad as well, including from Syria. Many residents of this country have passed on their thanks for Russia’s involvement in the fight against international terrorism.
The Q&A in itself is a colossal project involving a huge amount of resources for the country’s dialogue with the President. “We have 14 cameras set up in the studio with about 300 staff on hand. There are also 49 operators in the call-center” – says producer of “Rossia” TV Channel Alexander Kormilitsin.
You too can ask President Putin a question by calling (+7) 8-800-200-40-40. Text messages can be sent to (+7) 0-40-40. On top of this, for the first time, live video calls will be made possible during the show itself, as well as live messaging to Vladimir Putin via VKontakte.
From a technical point of view – there is complete readiness. Camera, lights, audio. Millions of people are awaiting answers from the President.
Ed: “RTR planeta” is a free, 24 hour news channel which can be viewed from anywhere in the world by clicking “прямой эфир” in the top bar, and then “24” at the bottom of the following page. Live, dubbed versions into several languages are usually available via RT’s youtube channel.