Support The Moscow Times!

Putin's Annual Call-In: Brightest Quotes

Putin's 14th annual call-in marathon this Thursday lasted three and a half hours: enough time for the president to answer 80 questions from across Russia.

Of course, the seasoned statesman was sure to use the platform to showcase his skill, wit, and political knowledge.

Here is a short wrap up of the session's best quotes.

“If someone has decided to drown, no one can help them.”

An unusual response to a question from 12-year old Varya Kuznetsova, who asked the President which foreign leader he would save from a watery death: Turkish President Recep Erdogan, or Ukraine's Petro Poroshenko. Putin showed no favourites, although he did add, “Russia will give a helping hand to any partner who wants it.” Earlier, Putin said that: “Turkey has been, and remains, a friend and partner of Russia. However, problems arise with the leaders of countries whose responses to situations are inadequate.”

“Here in Russia, we can imagine the bribe in the form of greyhounds puppies, but violins and cellos? I've never heard of that!”

Putin used the show to comment on the Panama Papers, a leak which exposed the secret offshore accounts of many from Putin's inner circle. In particular, his close friend cellist Sergei Roldugin was targeted. According to Putin, all the money earned by Roldugin was spent on the musical instruments.

"Husband and wife are the same devil."

Putin used this old Russian proverb to respond to questions on U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Putin couldn't help but note how long the same two parties had been in power in this supposed flagship of democracy. "There were the Bushes,” he said, “and now the wife of Bill Clinton is running for president. Where is the diversity?"

"The fewer teeth you have, the more you like porridge"

One little girl asked Putin if he too was forced to eat porridge when he was a child. The president said that he was never being forced to do anything he didn't want to, although he has always liked porridge and still eats it each morning with pleasure.

"There is such sin in Russia, and we will pray for forgiveness"

Putin was asked by one caller if he swore when not being filmed. "Sometimes, but I only swear at myself,” he confessed. “It happens when I am dissatisfied with myself."

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.