On June 7, Putin held his latest marathon call-in show on live television. For the first time in a decade, he ditched the studio audience and returned to the model he used from 2001 to 2008. Meduza breaks down Thursday's 4.5-hour event into two short paragraphs.
Domestic politics. Wages are rising, but admittedly not for everybody. Russia won’t introduce a progressive income tax or a sales tax, but the tax system will be adjusted (as a necessary anti-poverty measure). Mismanagement is to blame for rising gasoline prices, and the government is taking action. Russia won’t ban Facebook or Instagram. Extremism cases need to be investigated, but within reason. Mortgages should be available to everyone, and we should aim for a seven-percent interest rate. It doesn’t make good financial sense to subsidize electric cars, and Russians should use more gas-power cars. The Russian people will choose Putin’s eventual successor.
Foreign policy. The West’s allegations against Russia are a form of containment. The West mistakenly sees Russia as a threat. There’s been no Third World War thanks to strategic parity; the U.S. is trying to break that peace, but Moscow won’t let it. For some time, many European countries have wanted to lift sanctions against Russia, but these nations aren’t fully sovereign. Now the EU faces trade sanctions from the United States. Russian troops will remain in Syria for as long as it benefits Russia. The European Union should be ashamed of the fact that there are stateless persons in the Baltic states. Ukraine is unable to its resolve problems in the separatist-held east. The government doesn’t currently plan to free Oleg Sentsov or trade him for any Russian citizens now jailed in Ukraine.
Photo on the front page: Mikhail Klimentev / Sputnik / Scanpix / LETA