L. Todd Wood, Washington Times: Putin’s unhappy callers reveal a leader’s dilemma
Russian President Vladimir Putin today held his question-and-answer session with the Russian public, an annual tradition known as “The Direct Line.”
Callers from all over the Motherland asked their president questions via a video link, televised live for four solid hours. Although there were a few chances for Mr. Putin to troll the Americans over L’Affaire Comey and the anti-Russian hype consuming Washington, the majority of the citizens’ questions focused Thursday on jobs, social services and economic opportunity.
Mr. Putin seemed surprised by some of the questions. When one caller complained about his low salary of 10,000 rubles a month — approximately $175, the president seemed shocked and told the caller his employer had to pay him minimum wage, which is twice that much. (Here we insert mental image of said employer immediately giving the person a raise!).
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Update: Generation Putin Takes to the Streets (Hannah Thoburn, World Affairs)
WNU Editor: The natives are getting restless .... and the top concerns are (in order) the following .... the economy, jobs, social services, corruption, the war in Syria, relations with the West.