EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Putin In Marathon Question-And-Answer Session For 4,5 Hours

Posted by Info on 18/12/2010

In a annual marathon event -question-and-answer session that went on for 4and half hours Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin on Thursday said into the televised program that an outburst of nationalist violence in Moscow proved that Russia could not allow its law enforcement bodies to weaken.
A caller said the police were not protecting members of ethnic minorities from attacks by ethnic Russian nationalists, so that many of his friends were afraid to leave their homes.
Mr. Putin said extremism should be stopped — and warned against maligning the police.
“These bodies of power carry out the state’s most important function. Otherwise, our liberal intelligentsia will have to shave off their goatees and put on helmets themselves and go out to the square to fight radicals themselves.”

“The state exists in order to provide for the interests of the majority.”

The televised session displayed Mr. Putin at his populist best, reeling off a seemingly endless series of economic indicators and answering questions for hours without so much as a glance at notes. Many questions were delivered in a spirit of open admiration — “What is the secret of your success?” was one, and “How is your puppy, Buffy?” — and Mr. Putin was relaxed and fluent, enjoying himself….Mr. Putin barely mentioned Mr. Medvedev. …

One audience member asked about the recent scandal in the village of Kushchevskaya, where a local criminal gang had acted with impunity for years thanks to collusion with local authorities.
Mr. Putin said the case showed that “the entire government system failed” — and defend his 2004 decision to abolish the direct election of regional governors.

“We changed the procedure because we wanted to prevent criminals from getting into power. Unfortunately, in our situation, where civil society doesn’t work, with so-called direct elections you often have a criminal behind some candidate. They use their illegal money to affect election campaigns.”

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