Vladimir Putin has been facing the nation in a live question-and-answer session on state television. The Russian president responded to a number of queries carefully filtered by his officials.
The Kremlin reportedly received close to a million questions received by telephone, internet or mobile phone text messaging. Asked whether he planned to amend the constitution to enable him to run for a third mandate, the Russian leader repeated that he had no intention of doing so, adding that he didn’t see his purpose in life as staying in the Kremlin for ever. “My role is to create the right conditions for the country’s long-term development,” he added. The Russian president also confirmed military service would be reduced from two years to one. In response to another question, Putin apologised for recent racist attacks on foreign students and said security services would crack down on the perpetrators of such crimes.