When asked about what he plans to do when he leaves the presidency, Vladimir Putin has made a pause and smiled. “I haven’t decided yet, I’m President or not,” he replied to the laughter and applause of the audience, the majority of whom were born after he first became President in 2000.
A month later, after thousands of young Russians took to the streets of their cities to protest against corruption in the ranks of the Kremlin elite, Friday, July 21, Putin answered the questions of hundreds of teenagers in an apparent attempt to prove to them that he is sensitive to the opinion of youth.
Presidential elections will be held in March next year and it is expected that Putin will take part in them and will be re-elected for a new six-year term. Opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who organized a recent protest, said that he too will run for this election, but his name is unlikely to appear in the ballot.
The President spent three hours talking with the audience in the hall children, and broadcast of this conversation you can see on Russian television. The impression was that Teens were specifically selected so that the President did not hear any unpleasant questions.
This conversation took place at the center for gifted children “Sirius”, which was opened a few years ago with the support of the President. The tone of this conversation was asked the first question, which Putin immediately expressed gratitude for the establishment of this center, provided many gifted children the opportunity to develop their talents. “By the way, can boast that title, too, I came up with”, — Putin said after a pregnant pause.
In the course of this conversation the President answered the questions of teenagers who were sitting around him, and from time to time took up the cards with pre-written questions very similar to the quiz format.
In contrast to the press conferences and the annual direct lines with the President, during which he answers questions concerning a variety of areas, from foreign policy to problems of individual regions during his talks to children were discussed mostly for their achievement in sport, music and the Sciences, as well as personal life and preferences of the President.
“I love to listen to music, sports to exercise, with friends to talk,” said Putin when asked about how he spends his free time. From time to time, the President indulged in philosophical speculations, as, for example, when he answered a question about the three main values in his life (“love, freedom and life itself”) or the question about his childhood dream that he never gave a clear answer, instead sharing advice: “Dream all the time transformirovalsya in the course of human development. You need to be happy that it is. Because it’s always some spark, some sign that we must move and go forward towards that dream.”
To the question if he uses the Internet, Putin said that almost does not use, adding, however, that how people are using nicknames and made-up names on the Internet, it is very reminiscent of how he himself had to work under pseudonyms when he served in the KGB.
In the course of this conversation were hardly dealt with the topic of politics and did not hear a single mention of anti-corruption investigations of the Bulk, which became the impetus for the recent protests. One of the few mentions about the recent events was the question about Putin’s attitude to opposition politicians. The President, who never mentioned the name Navalny on the public, said only that the Ukrainian people have used anti-corruption slogans to a coup, and now what corruption there was even more.
The topic of conversation quickly changed, and team members in synchronized skating told Putin that they dream to be photographed with him on the ice. Putin replied that he was happy to take pictures with them.
In the course of this conversation, there was no serious question on foreign policy, and about the alleged Russian interference in American elections and Putin’s recent meeting with Donald trump at the summit of the Big twenty.
The only American, whose name came up during this conversation, was Oliver stone (Oliver Stone), the Director, who created a four-hour documentary about the Russian President, and being crushed by an avalanche of criticism for the fact that he, as many thought, was too soft on Putin. Putin noted that he liked to chat with stone, but admitted that he fell asleep trying to watch his movie.