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    5. Direct line with Vladimir Putin 2023: online broadcast

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    Direct line with Vladimir Putin 2023: online broadcast

    Results of the year with the president

    Russian President Vladimir Putin will answer questions from citizens of the country live on December 14, 2023 and sum up the results of the year.

    Big press Putin's conference will begin at 12:00 Moscow time. It will be shown live on federal channels. To receive questions, the telephone number is 8 800−200−40−40. You can also send a question to number 0440 or write a letter on the website moskva-putinu.ru. Messages and calls are free.

    “MK” conducts an online text broadcast of “Direct Line with Vladimir Putin.”

     Putin apologized for his cough: “The air conditioners are rustling.”

     The journalist proposes creating a federal program for the construction of cardiology centers, similar to the program for oncology centers. Putin promised to see what could be done.

     Putin suggested that a journalist from the Magadan region have children in order to again have  access to preferential tariffs for residents of the Far East.

    "You such an energetic,  nice young man,” he says.

    A question from French journalists about relations with President Emmanuel Macron.

    Putin says that the relationship was good and working, but then the French President himself ended it. Russia is not shying away from relations with France, it is ready to continue them, but “there is no trial.”

    Putin was asked how he assesses the growth of nationalism in the world.

    "The latest VTsIOM research says that 96% of Russian citizens consider interfaith and interethnic harmony in our country a huge advantage.”

    "As for the growth of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Russophobia, etc., this really tends to grow. This is due, in my opinion, to the fact that people are faced with some kind of injustice. Look what's happening in Gaza. Throughout the Islamic world there is a certain reaction, an increase in the number of people thinking radically. This is the result of the policies of certain elites. And behind this is the growth of anti-Islamic phobias.”

    “As for Russophobia, this is one of the vectors of the fight against Russia. We must do everything to stop attempts to rock society from within.”

    Putin promised that the development of primary healthcare will be extended and will be included in the presidential program.

    Putin on the epidemiological situation in the country : A surge in measles began due to people moving from the territory of Ukraine, where the level of immunization is low, Putin said. The lack of vaccines is a technical failure, the problem is being addressed, it will be solved.

    The departure of some pharmaceutical companies from the Russian market is a problem, but Russia does not close imports, and the industry is active.

    Question from The New York Times about Evan Gershkovich and Paul Whelan, Americans convicted in the Russian Federation. They ask to find an opportunity to return them to their homeland.

    “You say: 'Why don't they return to their homeland?'” Why shouldn’t they commit offenses on the territory of the Russian Federation? It's not that we refused to return them. But we want to reach an agreement, and these agreements must be mutually acceptable. We have contacts with our American partners on this matter. The dialogue is ongoing. I hope we will find a solution,” Putin replies.

     Putin called the level of relations with the PRC unprecedentedly high. Indicates that trade turnover between countries this year will exceed $200 billion.

    He says that we need to develop our own aircraft manufacturing. The country has the opportunity to implement these plans.

     Question about the BRICS summit in Kazan. What impact will it have on changing the world order? And is Kazan becoming a diplomatic hub in relations with eastern, Muslim countries?

    Putin praises the leadership of Tatarstan: “Tatarstan is developing well, good conditions have been created. Kazan is in good condition, the infrastructure is developed. It has already hosted many major international events, naturally it becomes the center of attraction.”

    "As for the world order, its rules change every day. The BRICS summit will influence in the right direction, it will show that there are countries in the world that want to live not according to the “unwritten” rules. rules, countries that do not create military blocs, but create conditions for joint work.”

    Putin agrees that it is wrong that you need to pay a commission to the bank for paying for housing and communal services. 

     

     The question of increasing housing and communal services tariffs, specifically in the Novosibirsk region, is from 9 to 14%, while the indexation of pensions is 7.5%. The increase in pension is thus “eaten up.”

    “In December last year, we indexed pensions by 10%, then in the spring by more than 4% according to inflation. And at the beginning of the year there will be another indexation of 7.5%. And I haven’t raised tariffs since July last year; it is planned to increase tariffs only in July 2024. During this time, three pension indexations will occur, in total it will be approximately more than 23%. However, citizens’ incomes must grow at a faster pace.”

    He also recalled subsidies for families whose housing and communal services expenses exceed 22% of income. “Hundreds of thousands of people used it last year.”

    He promised to clarify the situation in the Novosibirsk region.

     Current issue about rising food prices. “It’s very sad to buy eggs in our country,” “Are these golden hens laying these eggs?” – people ask.

    "I recently spoke with the Minister of Agriculture. I asked how his eggs were, he said everything was fine. I answered him: but our citizens have problems. Increase in prices for chicken eggs by 40%, and for chicken meat. You know what happened. We are experiencing a slight, but still, increase in income. Demand has increased, but production volumes have not. Secondly, imports in the required volume were not opened on time. Now they are offering additional supplies from Turkey and from Belarus. The decision has been made, the situation will undoubtedly improve. I regret and apologize in this regard, it was a failure in the work of the government. sports. 

    Putin: “Many people in the West believe that Russia is doing everything right, we are not afraid to fight for our national interests. We have a huge number of supporters in protecting traditional values.

     Question about the Criminal Code. Isn't it time to rewrite some articles? “They can give 12 years for murder, and 14 years for extortion on the Internet, as they ask journalist Alexandra Bayazitova.”

    Putin noted that there is “overkill” “I myself was dumbfounded when I heard about the terms of 14, 15 years (for economic crimes).

    According to him, this “needs to be thought about,” but the current law must be observed. He promised to instruct legislators to assess the severity of punishment for economic crimes.

    He also stated that there was no “witch hunt” in cases against journalists.

     Question from the Krasnodar region. They ask whether there are plans to develop the transport infrastructure in the south of the country. Also clarifies information about the opening of an airport in Krasnodar.

    Putin:

    – When opening airports, the main criterion is ensuring the safety of passengers. The Ministry of Defense is constantly monitoring the situation.

    – As for development, everything is being done. A high-speed road is planned, the first stage is Moscow-St. Petersburg, then it is possible to extend it to the south. It is necessary to create an effective structure that would deal with this, create a development model.

     Question from the audience about the use of national currencies in settlements with friendly countries and what factors influence the ruble exchange rate today.

    Putin:

    – Pegging the national currency to the dollar is fraught with difficult social consequences -economic problems.

    – Argentina, after the election of Miley as president, may switch to using the dollar within the country instead of the national currency. This is fraught with the loss of the country's sovereignty.

    – Russia is not giving up the dollar, but it has begun to have problems with payments in dollars and euros.

    – The share of the ruble in the foreign trade of the Russian Federation as of September increased to 40%, the yuan – 33%, and the dollar and euro dropped to 24%.

    – About the ruble exchange rate: Putin believes that everything will return to normal.

     Question from journalists from Komi. Talks about a program of resettlement from northern regions to a milder climate.

    “Our republic was issued 129 certificates for resettlement, and there are 21 thousand people in the queue.” He proposes to give priority to pensioners and disabled people, as well as to allocate additional funding. Or resettle the program participants inside Komi, in the southern part or in Syktyvkar.

    "We can and should look at expanding the program. As for the increase in costs. The budget has been drawn up, maybe there will be additional income. About resettlement within Komi: I’ll talk to the government, this is also a possible option. Regarding the priority of pensioners and disabled people: that’s also a good idea, I’ll talk to the government.” Putin also noted with irony that “if you ask the Ministry of Finance, it never has money.”

    Video call from Donbass, junior sergeant Yulia Bereza. She was unable to apply for benefits because she was enrolled in the People’s Militia with the DPR. Asks for help. 

    Putin indicated that the problem is acute, since people left for service in the period before the referendum. He says there are commissions that can help confirm your rights. In Donetsk, for example, about 2 thousand military personnel certificates have already been issued. Work to restore and confirm the rights of combatants will continue. 

    A contract soldier from a PMC approached Putin – he was not given a combat veteran’s certificate. He asks to look into the situation and says that the problem is large-scale.

    "There is a problem. I think these are gaps that should not have been allowed by the Department of Defense. Formally and legally, there are no PMCs in Russia, this creates a problem. Secondly, PMC contracts were not concluded with the state; only the commanders were in one way or another with the state. And payments to the military were made in cash, so it is difficult to even establish the personnel on the payroll. But their rights must be restored; they have the right to all social benefits and other forms of support from the state. Changes will be made to the law.”

     Military correspondent Dmitry Kulko asks questions from SVO soldiers. He asks about improving the payment system, about the Defenders of the Fatherland fund, and how Putin evaluates its work.

    He also proposes to allow the seriously wounded to undergo a medical examination at the place of treatment – now this has to be done in the unit at the place of service.

    The last question is the shortage of drones at the front.

    Putin answers that the situation is improving, that’s a fact. But there is not always enough of everything.

    "The front line is almost 2 thousand kilometers, and definitely not everything is delivered on time everywhere. But our own production is growing, a lot is purchased, including privately abroad. The state is actively working. We will increase it,” he says.

    Putin also praises the volunteers who organize the collections. “Of course, the state can do without this support, but it is impossible to stop it. Over 10 billion rubles in donations. Children sent 3 million letters to the front. We will support this in every possible way.”

    “As for the return of the seriously wounded from the hospital to the unit. I saw that the situation was working out. As the Ministry of Defense reported to me, everything can be done in rehabilitation places, they told me that everything is organized there, there is no need to return to the unit. Maybe it’s not fully adjusted, I’ll check.”

    As for the fund, everything is fine there, “the people who work there are great.” “We will improve the work so that it is a good, effective tool.”

    Putin on the IOC decision: firstly, all actions of international officials in relation to Moscow — this is a complete contradiction to the slogan “oh sport, you are” peace.” According to Putin, they became dependent on sponsors. If officials act the same way in the future, they will bury the Olympic movement.

     Putin was approached by young athletes from Crimea, whose gym has not been repaired for more than 40 years, and they are forced to train on the street. Putin promised to help specifically solve this problem.

    Putin was invited to Mordovia. He promised to come. 

     Video question from Zaporozhye region, Melitopol Regional Oncology Center. They complain about the lack of specialists. “There are not enough doctors, just like in all of Russia,” says the head physician. For one doctor at an outpatient appointment there are about 50-60 per day (according to the standard 30). There are 20 oncology patients in hospitals, which is also twice the norm. How to attract specialists?

    Putin noted that the doctor said “there is not enough, like in all of Russia.”

    “I would like to note that a person perceives his subject as part of Russia,” – he pointed out.

    In the context of attracting people, Putin says that there is a 2% preferential mortgage for new regions. But the problem is that the benefit applies to new housing, but not much is being built yet. Therefore, this should be extended to the secondary market.

     Question from a Turkish journalist on the situation in the Gaza Strip and about Russia’s relations with Turkey.

    Putin:

    "I would like to note the leading role of President Erdogan in restoration of the situation in Gaza. He is doing everything so that the situation changes for the better, so that conditions are created for long-term peace.”

    “Look at the special operation in Ukraine and the situation in Gaza. There is nothing similar (like in Gaza) in Ukraine. The UN Secretary General called today's Gaza Strip the largest children's cemetery in the world. This assessment says a lot.”

    “The UN decisions on the creation of a Palestinian state must be implemented. We need fundamental foundations for an Israeli-Palestinian settlement.”

    “Erdogan and I are in constant contact. I think we will be able to meet him soon, I am planning on it. I planned it recently, but it didn’t work out according to schedule. Maybe at the beginning of next year the meeting will take place.” , almost all are in an active stage of action.”

    On the development of new regions:

    "Every year, the federal budget provides over a trillion rubles for the development of these regions and their inclusion in the economic and social life of Russia.”

    According to him, the Kiev authorities did not pay due attention to these regions.

    Question from military correspondent Nikolai Dolgachev, who works in the LPR. They ask about the situation in Krynki, on the left bank of the Dnieper near Kherson.

    "About Krynok. The enemy announced a big offensive, but nothing happened. The last attempt was to break through to the left bank of the Dnieper and ensure advancement towards the Crimea. The Ukrainian Armed Forces concentrated their attack on a very narrow section of the coast. Our military command decided to retreat literally a few meters into the forest plantations in order to avoid unnecessary losses. The Ukrainian Armed Forces entered a small area, I don’t even know why. They simply push their people to be exterminated. The Ukrainian military themselves say that this is a one-way road. The enemy has dozens of dead (every day), they were caught in the fire bag. They send personnel there for political reasons,” Putin replies. According to him, Kyiv is sending elite troops there, this is stupid and irresponsible.

    “I said: don’t rush to push them out of there, this is beneficial for us,” he concluded.

    Putin also recalls the Minsk agreements, which, as Western leaders admitted, no one was going to implement.

    < p>“They (Europe) have lost their sovereignty, they make many decisions to their own detriment.”

    However, he points out that there is, for example, the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who is concerned about the national interests of his country and does not break off relations with Russia. Putin also says that Russia is ready to improve relations with the United States, but Washington is hampered by imperial thinking, when any desire for compromise is perceived as a failure. 

    The question of normalizing relations with the European Union.

    Putin:

    "We didn’t spoil relations, they spoiled it with us, trying to push us into the background. How did the conflict in Ukraine begin? Since the coup in 2014.”

    “Russians and Ukrainians are one people, it’s like a civil war between brothers. The entire southeast of Ukraine has always been pro-Russian, because these are historically Russian territories.”

    “After the coup, it became clear to us that we would not be allowed to build normal relations with Ukraine by force.”

    < p>It also reminds us of American financing of Euromaidan.

     

    Question from the audience about environmental problems on the Volga. Putin notes that this is a complex issue; on the one hand, the river is important for energy production, on the other hand, high water is important for shipping and local residents. The government is aware of the problem and keeps it under control.

    Putin, in response to a video question from the military from the front line, said that the military will be able to work with children's and youth groups and are already doing this. Their involvement in educational work will continue.

     The first question from the audience is from journalists from North Ossetia. “There are benefits and various support measures for contract soldiers, can volunteers count on them?”

    "There are many such questions. I want to repeat again: all volunteers must be placed in exactly the same conditions. There are certain shortcomings. We will definitely ensure that everyone receives the same support from the state,” Putin replies.

    The presenters ask about the second wave of mobilization.

    "I understand that the issue is sensitive. We recruited 300 thousand people last year. The guys fight well, 14 received the title of Hero of Russia. We have launched a broad campaign to recruit people on a voluntary basis. They planned to reach a little over 400 thousand by the end of the year. As of yesterday evening, 486 thousand had been dialed. And the flow of our men who are ready to defend the interests of the Motherland is not decreasing, one and a half thousand every day. ". 

     "Ukraine produces nothing, everything is brought for free. But the freebie ends.”

    Putin indicated that Ukraine has received all the weapons promised by the West. The Russian Armed Forces destroyed 747 tanks and almost 2 thousand armored vehicles. “This is demilitarization,” says Putin. 

    The presenters raised the topic of a special operation. Dynamics, goals and objectives at the moment.

    "The world will be when we achieve our goals. The goals do not change: denazification, demilitarization, neutral status of Ukraine,” Putin replies.

    He also recalls the negotiations in March last year. According to him, the Ukrainian side did not agree on the need for denazification. 

     Putin on the economy:

    – GDP growth will be 3.5 percent,

    – inflation will increase to 7.5-8% by the end of the year, but the government and the Central Bank are taking measures

    – the manufacturing industry is growing — 7.5 percent for the year

    – real wages in Russia will increase by about eight percent.

    Putin noted that Russia has accumulated a margin of safety in the financial and economic sector, which has become an opening for Western countries. Russia’s economy has accumulated a sufficient margin of strength to move forward.

    Putin in his opening speech talks about the main goals: “I have spoken about this many times already. For a country like Russia, its existence without sovereignty is impossible. It simply will not exist in the form in which it exists. Therefore, the main thing is to strengthen sovereignty, economic, technological, strengthening defense capability, public sovereignty.”

    Putin comes out, “Direct Line” begins. 

    Peskov came out. He says the event will start in a couple of minutes. Peskov recalled the regulations, asked to formulate questions briefly and clearly, and also to turn off the sound on phones.

    Those present in the hall took their seats, Putin has not yet left.

     Several hundred journalists gathered at Gostiny Dvor in anticipation of Vladimir Putin's press conference. The hall has about six hundred seats, reports special correspondent Tatyana Antonova. There are media representatives from all over the country here. There are correspondents from new regions as well. In a conversation with colleagues, journalists from Mariupol admitted that the city has changed over the year.

    “We have never had such roads, schools and kindergartens are very cool. I’m 21 years old, but I want to go to kindergarten,” a journalist from one of the Mariupol publications shared her impressions.

    Some colleagues arrived in national costumes to attract the president's attention. It is likely that they will succeed. This time the hall is very small, and the distance between the table at which Vladimir Putin will sit and the first row in the hall is only a few meters. By the way, the seating this time is very dense, just like in pre-Covid times. The previous presidential press conference in 2021 took place in a much stricter sanitary environment: with mandatory distance between chairs and medical masks.

    And here are the first pictures from Gostiny Dvor, our correspondents are already there.

    And here are the first pictures from Gostiny Dvor, our correspondents are already there.

    There is half an hour left before the start of the press conference. It will be hosted by Ekaterina Berezovskaya and Pavel Zarubin.

     A crowd of journalists gathered at the entrance to Gostiny Dvor ahead of Vladimir Putin’s press conference. As our special correspondent Tatyana Antonova reports, the line stretched from the middle of Varvarka. The average waiting time is half an hour. At the entrance to Gostiny Dvor there is a main security line – a tent with framed metal detectors and scanners for the contents of bags. Rospotrebnadzor employees carefully ensure that only healthy people attend the event: the day before the press conference, all participants took tests for coronavirus and influenza.

    The capital's data center reported before the event that sections of Ilyinka and Ilyinka streets would be closed in the center of Moscow Varvarka. The restrictions will be lifted after the end of the Direct Line.

     Journalists who came to Gostiny Dvor for Putin's press conference are being disinfected with silver ions, correspondents report from the spot.

     There are no plans to conduct live broadcasts from new regions this year. According to Peskov, local residents were able to participate by writing down questions in advance. This is done for security reasons. 

     The number of questions and requests received through various communication channels to the Direct Line Putin, as of December 13, exceeded 2 million. This was reported by the TV channel “Russia 1”.

    The day before, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov named frequent topics of appeals from Russians to Putin's direct line. This includes the difficult international situation and a special operation.

    < p>We have collected into a separate material some complaints from Russians that are publicly available. In preparation for the Direct Line, people gathered together and recorded video messages. They complained, among other things, about the poor environment, the lack of a school, a hospital, and a dairy kitchen for babies.

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