The Kremlin rehearses for Putin's 15th live call-in show, scheduled for Thursday
At a recreational compound outside Moscow owned by the presidential administration, officials have staged a rehearsal of Vladimir Putin’s next “direct line” call-in show on national television, according to the news agency RBC. Roughly 100 people reportedly participated in the rehearsal.
President Putin’s next call-in show will take place on Thursday, June 15, at noon in Moscow (5 a.m. EDT). This will be the 15th time Putin has performed the marathon event, where he answers questions from a studio audience and speaks to members of the public over satellite video conference, while also taking questions emailed in.
Sources also told RBC that representatives from the public in regions around the country also rehearsed their questions for President Putin, receiving recommendations from Kremlin officials, for example, about avoiding plaid and striped clothing and not drinking alcohol the night before the event.
One rehearsal participant told RBC that no one was guaranteed the opportunity to ask Putin their questions on live television, but the source also said that staff from the presidential administration didn’t suggest their own questions to participants.
“They divided us into a few groups, everyone read their questions, and women from the TV networks listened carefully to everyone, scribbling down notes as we spoke,” said one participant in the “direct line” rehearsal.
Rehearsals for Vladimir Putin’s call-in shows happen every year, according to RBC. In 2016, sources reported that presidential administration staff not only listened to questions from members of the public, but also suggested some of their own, fueling already rampant suspicions that the show’s live and supposedly spontaneous interactions between Putin and the public are actually staged politics.
Thursday’s call-in show will be broadcast live on three Russian television networks, Pervyi Kanal, Rossiya 1, and Rossiya 24, and aired on the radio stations Mayak, Vesti FM, and Radio Rossiya.