The teenager who asked Putin about corruption says the president's response was unsatisfying

10:18, 16 june 2017

Danila Prilepa, a Russian high school student in Nefteyugansk, says he wasn’t satisfied with the response he got from President Putin at Thursday’s four-hour-long telethon. Prilepa asked Putin what he planned to do about Russia’s continuing problems with corruption and its erosion of the public’s faith in the government. Putin started off by telling him that, after 15 years of call-in shows, questions about corruption no longer seem to be a top concern. The president then explained that punishments for corruption are a matter for judges. 

“[The answer] didn’t satisfy me, just as it didn’t satisfy many citizens. There weren’t any specifics,” Prilepa told reporters, adding that his father worked as a police officer for 20 years before retiring because the department was such an “absolute nuthouse.” Prilepa’s father is still waiting for his pension housing benefits, he says.

Prilepa made headlines in Russia on Thursday not just because he was a young man who asked the president about corruption — in many ways, reflecting the spirit of an ongoing protest movement led by opposition politician Alexey Navalny — but because of Putin’s suspicious response. So incredulous that a teenager could care about such issues, the president actually asked Prilepa if someone had put him up to asking a question about corruption.