Russian Executive Scramble to Fix Problems Told to Vladimir Putin on His Call-in Indicate

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Source:   —  April 16, 2016, at 0:19 AM

Speaking by video-call, the resident of the Siberian city Omsk asked if Putin could've the potholed roads in her town fixed, complaining that local executive were doing nothing.

Russian Executive Scramble to Fix Problems Told to Vladimir Putin on His Call-in Indicate

At the top of Vladimir Putin’s annual call-in indicate on Thursday, the hours-long telethon during which Putin takes questions from ordinary Russians, Ekaterina Chernenko had a plea for the Russian president.

Speaking by video-call, the resident of the Siberian city Omsk asked if Putin could've the potholed roads in her town fixed, complaining that local executive were doing nothing.

In front of cameras broadcasting the exchange across Russia, Putin agreed with her, saying that the problem had gotten worse generally and well-known that it needed to be solved.

Within hours, Omsk’s local authorities announced they'd laid 4.000 square meters of new pavement in a single day and poured out 370.000 tons of asphalt. The city’s mayor appeared on TV to promise they were working night and day on it.

The frantic road-building in Omsk was just one of example of executive across Russia scurrying to fix local issues after they were presented to Putin during his call-in indicate and that the Russian boss had well-known ominously he'd be looking into. Criminal cases were opened, delayed salary paid, construction projects halted and launched, all just hours after people mentioned them to Putin on-air.

In Russia’s distant east, a Gov said he'd meet a children’s hockey team that appealed to Putin that they'd number indoor rink. The country’s deputy attorney common flew himself to Russia'south remote Pacific coast to meet with fishery workers who'd told Putin they'd been treated as virtual slaves and were owed months of back-pay. Their employer was later shown on TV handing out cash to the women and apologizing.

The flurry of wishes fulfilled is a core feature of Putin’s indicate every year, where among questions on Syria and the price of milk, ordinary Russians also plead with their president to right wrongs in their towns. Following the highly-choreographed show, law enforcement and media will swoop onto areas well-known by Putin, while nervous executive rush to indicate they can obtain a hint.

The indicate and the televised interventions, for which Russian media sometimes nickname Putin “the excellent wizard,” are hallmarks of Putin’s personalized regulation and have been core props in crafting his public image as the only power that can obtain things done in a country where people are doubtful of the regulation of law and state officials. Russian satisfaction with where the country is headed is at a two-year low, according to recent polls, while Putin’s personal rating remains near to eighty percent.

“It’s was a blitzkrieg,” said Dmitrii Dudkin, explaining why he'd gone to Putin to get a wage dispute solved.

Dudkin, a factory worker in Chelyabinsk, said on the indicate that he and other workers at a car plant were owed months in back-wages, adding he'd four children to feed. Before the finish of Wednesday, Dudkin said the salary had been paid to him and the plant’s director appeared on television promising to clear its debts.

“It was a fast way to solve the problem,” Dudkin told ABC News by phone.

Observers declare the indicate lets Putin portray himself as at once a powerful ruler and at the same time the caring czar interested in his people’s ordinary troubles. The role tugs on a long cultural thread in Russian history -- into the 20th-century, peasants would write petitions to the czar, convinced he'd solve their problems if only his feckless executive didn’t cover them from him.

This year, three million Russians sent questions to Putin, state television said, many hoping to win the Putin-lottery and have their problems picked for resolution. But critics argue the practice undermines efforts to make better Russia’s dysfunctional bureaucracy.

“It’s very risky because it teaches people that institutions don’t work and that the man at the top is the only hope for getting things done,” said Maxim Trudolubov, a columnist with the Russian business paper Vedomosti.

However, after fourteen years of the call-in, Russians aren’t moved by the indicate much anymore and that everyone understood the rules, Trudolubov said.

“There are actually numerous cases of things not getting done, but number one is bothered because first and foremost it's a show,” he said.

Dudkin, the factory worker who'd previously voted for Putin, said he was grateful to his president but wasn’t much fazed by the intervention.

Asked whether he'd vote for Putin again now, he said he wasn’t sure yet, he’d have to look how things went.

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