Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a question-answer press conference that covered everything from pork imports and liquor consumption to gas prices and playground equipment, broke records for length: His presser spanned a historic high of 4 hours and 47 minutes.
That's more than the previous record — that he set — by 15 minutes, The U.K. Guardian reported.
Questions came in via television from around the nation. State media said 3 million sent in queries.
A sampling: One woman asked from her living room in the eastern village of Novoshakhtinsky for a perk for her 12 adopted children, "to allot us a playground." Mr. Putin promised: "I promise you, my dear, a playground." And just a short hour later, the moderator broke in to announce that local authorities in the village had vowed to build a playground, The Guardian reported.
Mr. Putin relies on question-answer sessions to bolster his flagging public image, The Guardian reported.
"I think that this format is very useful and needed both for me and the country," he said, in The Guardian. Not all the questions were so welcome, however.
The Guardian reported his tone turned tense during a series of questions about the death of Boris Berezovsky, a former presidential ally who fell from Mr. Putin's grace and subsequently fled to London. He was granted political asylum there, but recently requested via letter Mr. Putin's forgiveness.
"He writes about how he thinks he made many mistakes, brought harm, asks to forgive him and give him the chance to return to the motherland," Mr. Putin said, adding that he never replied to the letters, The Guardian reported.
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