Some uncomfortable questions sneak onto Putin's carefully managed telethon
On Thursday, June 15, Vladimir Putin once again sat down for a practiced, carefully orchestrated call-in telethon. This is Putin’s 15th performance of the “Direct Line,” and officials say more than 2.6 million questions were submitted to the president this year. Russians could send questions through the show’s official website, in official groups on social media networks, and over the phone. You could also send your questions as text messages, and for some reason it was decided that some of these messages would be published on screen, during the show. In an apparent failure to screen the questions, the following text messages appeared on screen during the televised broadcast of Putin’s call-in show.
- Putin, do you really think the people believe in this circus with phony questions?
- When will you step down?
- Is it true that Navalny is making his next film about you?
- When you say “we don’t betray our own,” does that apply to kleptocrats and corrupt officials?
- When will you fire [Prime Minister Dmitry] Medvedev, [Rusnano Chairman Anatoly] Chubais, [economic adviser Alexey] Kudrin, [Sberbank CEO Herman] Gref, and the others? Haven’t you tired of them yet?
- How did you let Medvedev get sick?? You need to have him vaccinated!
- The whole country thinks you've sat too long on the “throne”
- Why are most issues solved only after your direct intervention?
- Who's our most dangerous internal enemy?
- Why don't you show a running ticker with all the questions? Are they hiding it intentionally, so viewers don't see what kinds of questions people are asking?
- At some point, we're going to hear, “There's no money, but you hang in there.”