Putin postpones citizen phone-in for the first time in 18 years

Image of Vladimir Putin. Source: Twitter @Maytechummia

Russian President Vladimir Putin has postponed his citizen phone-in marathon that allows ordinary people to ask him questions directly, for the first time in 18 years.

According to a report on June 8 by Kremlin.ru, the direct line programme which allows Russian citizens to speak directly with the president about their problems has been postponed possibly until the period between June 15 and 18.

The last time the programme was postponed was in 2004 and is the second major event designed to connect the president with the public that has been cancelled this year. Putin’s annual address to Russia’s Federal Assembly was also postponed in April, with no dates yet given for its return. 

Putin has looked to control the narrative over the war, with significant efforts internally to present the war as he would like it to be. Making himself available to talk about issues dear to the caller, presents a risk as there is always the off-chance that he will be asked a question that he doesn’t want to provide an honest answer to.

The announcement comes as Russia struggles to make headway in Ukraine, with significant losses of equipment and life in recent days.

It also comes as Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that he was looking to restart negotiations with Ukraine authorities, in the hope that they can agree on splitting the country thereby bringing an end to the war.

However, the chances of the two parties reaching an agreement are slim, with Putin who has postponed his citizen phone-in looking for a solution to declare victory whereas Ukraine is not looking to surrender or give up its territory.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]