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“Why does your reality differ from ours?”: Here are the questions Russians texted Putin at his annual televised Q&A

Vladimir Putin’s “direct line” — the name for his annual televised Q&A — was broadcast today for the first time since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Although all text messages and questions to Putin are typically censored, some of them were nonetheless shown on TV. These included messages about inflation, the supply of gas, and Putin's term in office.

Some of the questions, displayed on massive blue screens in the studio, read:

  • “When will Russians stop killing Russians?”
  • “How can you move to the Russia they keep telling us about on Channel One?”
  • “Who will be president of the Russian Federation after you?”
  • “Why is gas getting more expensive?”
  • “Why does your reality differ from ours?”
  • “How long will we tolerate Gazprom's corruption?” — along with multiple others.
Special military operation

The “special military operation” is a euphemism used by the Kremlin to refer to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

  • “Hello, how can I move to the Russia they keep telling us about on Channel One?”
  • “Hello, how can I move to the Russia they keep telling us about on Channel One?”
  • “Hello, how can I move to the Russia they keep telling us about on Channel One?”
  • “If Zelensky suddenly changes his mind and decides to attack the West, will you support him?”
  • “If Zelensky suddenly changes his mind and decides to attack the West, will you support him?”
  • “If Zelensky suddenly changes his mind and decides to attack the West, will you support him?”
  • “Mr. President, when will the real Russia be the same as the one on TV?”
  • “Mr. President, when will the real Russia be the same as the one on TV?”
  • “Mr. President, when will the real Russia be the same as the one on TV?”
  • “We’ve sent gas to China, sent it to Europe, when will Khakassia [a region of Siberia, Russia] have gas?”
  • “We’ve sent gas to China, sent it to Europe, when will Khakassia [a region of Siberia, Russia] have gas?”
  • “We’ve sent gas to China, sent it to Europe, when will Khakassia [a region of Siberia, Russia] have gas?”

Questions were collected via the website moskva-putinu.ru, through the social networks VK and Odnoklassniki, and were also submitted through a free hotline for text messages and calls. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov mentioned that Putin had held a meeting prior to the Q&A and had asked about the issues that were going to be discussed. According to Peskov, Russians had asked questions about the “difficult international situation and the ‘special military operation’.”

Russians recorded video messages en masse prior to the “direct line,” hoping to get on the air and draw attention to the issues that are not being addressed by local authorities across the country. Most of them came from residents of areas outside Moscow and St Petersburg who asked for municipal problems to be solved, such as heating, transport, and building repairs.

Special military operation

The “special military operation” is a euphemism used by the Kremlin to refer to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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