‘Direct line’ 2021 Putin discusses Sputnik V, local issues, and more in annual call-in show

Scanpix / LETA

Last year, President Vladimir Putin’s annual call-in show was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. But on Wednesday, June 30, the “direct line” made its return to national television. Despite some technical hiccups, Putin answered questions from Russian residents for four hours straight. Meduza watched the whole thing and summed up Putin’s most interesting remarks about vaccination against COVID-19, hyper-local issues, and his presidency, in a nutshell.

Putin got the “Sputnik V” jab, but EpiVacCorona is a good vaccine too. Vaccination against the coronavirus is a must. There’s no national plan for mandatory vaccination, but the law allows the regional authorities to introduce mandatory vaccination for certain groups of people. The government is taking steps to curb rising prices, which are caused by changing conditions on world markets. Even if Russia had sunk the British warship, “it’s hard to imagine that the world would be on the brink of World War III.” Russia will not ban foreign social networks, “but they are pushing us away.” Russia had an easier time getting through the “most acute phase” of the coronavirus pandemic, thanks in part to the current convocation of the State Duma. Voters should appreciate the dedication of lawmakers who fell ill with the coronavirus, four of whom died. Putin will speak to the governor of the Zabaykalsky Krai about raising salaries for firefighters, environmental problems in Omsk will be dealt with, Pskov will have clean water, and the roof will be fixed at a kindergarten in Novokuznetsk. The president is subordinate “to the Russian people.” Putin has difficulty retaining his German and English vocabulary. How do you cope with adversity? “You have to treat it as inevitable, the main thing is to believe that you’re on the right track and move towards the goal that you set for yourself like an icebreaker.” Putin hopes his main achievements as president are still to come. 

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