"The United States doesn’t need allies; it needs vassals,” Putin lashed out against the US during his four-hour-long interaction with Russians on Thursday.
The session, dubbed Direct Line, saw Putin discuss major issues pertaining to Russia, including economic sanctions against the Russian state, price rise and Russo-American relations.
Russian President Vladimir Putin participated in a Q&A session with the Russian media on Thursday.
The aptly dubbed Direct Line session, saw Putin answer questions posted by Russian citizens about various topics including price rise, the devaluation of the Russian ruble and the state of democratic liberties in Russia. The highly orchestrated show is a measure by which the Kremlin marks its success in delivering their message to the nation.
Last year’s edition had a victorious tenor with Putin revelling in the annexation of the region of Crimea.
But this year’s Direct Line saw Putin take a far more assuaging approach over nearly four hours on the air as he answered questions about price rise, the decline of the ruble’s international value and Russia’s economic prospects.
The Kremlin says they will have to sift through well over 1.7 million emails, video messages and texts to decide who gets to ask what on the big day. A few would-be questions released ahead of the event give us a flavor of what's on Russia's mind.
One unidentified schoolgirl asked: “Is there a threat to Russia's interests from the United States and Europe? And will there be a new Iron Curtain?”
Sanctions and Russia's severe economic crisis, which saw the value of the Russian currency plunge abysmally in value against the dollar, was a major theme.
With Moscow at odds with the West over Ukraine foreign policy dominated much of the session as well.
More than 3 million Russians were said to have sent inquiries to the call-in show, which was heavily promoted on Russia’s state-run television networks.
Putin told viewers that he expected sanctions against Russia to last for years. But the challenges will ultimately strengthen the country, Putin said.