Learn Russian with Putin

Some of you might have known that the President of Russia held his annual “Direct Line” televised broadcast last week on April 17, 2014. The show lasted for almost 4 hours, and the president answered more than 80 questions from the whole country (and Crimea), including 1 American (Snowden). The entire show is made available from the Kremlin website “President of Russia”, together with the original Russian transcript and English translation!

Whether you are a fan of Putin, or you think he is the Antichrist, this is surely a big germ for our intermediate and advanced Russian learners!

I myself have found Putin’s speech clear and not to fast, suitable for learners at the intermediate level. He, like many politicians, says the same things over and over again, using repeated terms and phrases, which makes his speeches ideal for narrow vocabulary building.

I have extracted the first few Q&As and put them into the library. I am still working on the rest.



Good job, Edwin.
But all I find is the message:
“We can’t find the page you’re looking for
An error has occurred …” and so on.

I wouldnt want to think its a conspiracy :slight_smile:

Or just a censorship in Canada?

From the source Прямая линия с Владимиром Путиным • Президент России

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Does this work?


This works.

(Oh, that dear captcha…)

Thanks a lot! Here’s the English translation for those of us who want to cheat. http://eng.kremlin.ru/transcripts/7034 I remember studying from one of his new year’s speeches.

Let us learn a lot from the Great Lord.



@ edwin
Thank you very much !!!

Here is the whole video from the show:

Does he get his top off and go bareback horse riding, whilst packing an ak47, at any stage in the video?

I’d watch it for that…

The most clearest speeches I have ever hear:) I dont know what hes talking about but Im gonna soon find out:) so one big thank you for you guys :slight_smile: lets learn Russian with Putin:D:D

I added 2 more questions today:

Q26: About the illegitimacy of the authorities in Kiev

Q27: About NATO

I think the answer on NATO is particularly important. I personally believe that the NATO expansion plan is the root cause of the whole Ukrainian conflict. Putin offers his view and Russia’s position on this issue.


I am curious, Edwin, why you think that smaller countries like Poland or the Baltic States should not have independent foreign policies and not be able to freely form alliances that they think are in their interest.

BTW, which NATO expansion plan are you referring to?

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Maybe that would be the plan that they have been following for the last 20 years or more…?

Is there another NATO expansion plan?


Edwin, I just wanted clarification. You feel that NATO’s eastern expansion over the last 15 years caused Putin to annex Crimea and stir up unrest in Ukraine. Understood. I usually think of plan as something in the future and thought that you had some other NATO plan in mind.


  I'm with Edwin. I don't trust any type of western government at all, even my " U.S. King of the World" idiot. This is more than just Russia and Ukraine. This is about NATO trying to dictate to the rest of the world, what is right and what is wrong.
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steve, tell us you opinion about last events in Odessa. I mean Trade Union House set in fire and killing 46 people.

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Just want to clarify. I am not against countries having their own free will to choose their military allies. Putin also said that in his response:

I used to say at one time: “Why are you doing this? Do you want to ensure the security of these countries? Do you think someone may attack them? Well, it’s enough to sign a bilateral treaty on friendship and mutual assistance, including military aid, and their security will be ensured.” I heard in response: “This doesn’t concern you. Nations and countries have the right to choose a way of ensuring their security themselves.”

All right, this is true. But it is also true that when the infrastructure of a military bloc approaches our borders, we have grounds for certain apprehensions and questions. We must take certain steps, and this is also true; nobody can deny us this right. And this compels us to counteract."



Russia signed an agreement to guarantee the integrity of Ukraine. Putin said on March 4 that he would not take Crimea. He also said that the armed soldiers with no identifying symbols were not Russian soldiers. Then he took Crimea. Then on April 17 he admitted that these soldiers were Russian and were very competent and professional.

He has stated that he was the right to intervene militarily to protect ethnic Russians. He made a point stating on April 17 that Nova Rossiya (Southeastern Ukraine) was historically a part of Russia. (Maybe it was, but if we go back in history there are a lot of parts of Russia that were part of other countries, in the South and East of the country). There are many shrill nationalist voices in Russia today, from Zhirinovksy to Dugin, and there is nostalgia for the good old power days of the Soviet Union. Putin both encourages these voices and is influenced by them.

So, in my view, countries of the ex-Soviet Union and ex-Comintern group have reason to be uneasy.

As for the tragic events in Odessa, sdom, here is what I wrote to Evgueny with regard to the lesson he wrote on this subject for our library.

"The deaths in Odessa are truly tragic. Undoubtedly there will be speculation as to who started things and who caused the fire in the Trade Union Building. I think we should be careful about jumping to conclusions and limit ourselves to feeling sympathy for the dead, injured and their families.

The Ukrainian police have reported that the fire in the Trade Union Building was started by Molotov cocktails that were thrown from the roof of the building by pro-Russian demonstrators, who were also firing weapons down on the crowd below, and some of these incendiary devices accidentally landed inside the building through windows. The local police also report that a majority of the 172 people detained are citizens of Russia and Transnistria. I guess they will have to provide evidence of this. In the present state of information warfare it is difficult to accept anything at face value.

In any case, the information contained in your article Evgueny, similar to the information that I have seen in Russian news media, is not supported by video evidence that I have seen. It is clear that there were a number of pro-Russians firing pistols and machine guns into the pro-Ukrainian crowd, with the police just standing by. This was long before the fire started at the Trade Union Building.

So it is not possible to say who started things, nor to blame anything on Right Sector, or anybody else. We just need to wait to get all the information. It is also a good idea not to stir up emotions more than they already are stirred up."

BTW, on the subject of the Crimean referendum , the following is from a Russian government web page,


По мнению практически всех опрошенных специалистов и граждан:

  • подавляющее большинство жителей Севастополя проголосовали на референдуме за присоединение к России (явка 50-80 %), в Крыму по разным данным за присоединение к России проголосовали 50-60 % избирателей при общей явке в 30-50 %;

i.e. “in Crimea 50-60% voted in favour of joining Russia and the voter turnout was 30-50%”

  • жители Крыма голосовали не столько за присоединение к России, сколько за прекращение, по их словам, «коррупционного беспредела и воровского засилья донецких ставленников». Жители же Севастополя голосовали именно за присоединение к России. Опасения перед незаконными вооруженными формированиями в Севастополе были больше, чем в других районах Крыма.
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sdom, the situation in Ukraine is truly tragic on many levels. For what it is worth, here is what the Ukrainian Interior Minister said on his Facebook page.

Arsen Avakov
2 hrs · Edited ·
По Одессе. Буду мало эмоционален – более информативен.
Милиция в Одессе действовала безобразно, возможно преступно. Все руководство одесского главка освобождено от должностей. Ведется расследование по их деятельности. Никакого стыдливого прикрытия «чести мундира» не будет. Как не будет и огульного охаиванья. Но, давайте стыдливо не прикрывать и других «героев». Иначе мы никогда не вынесем верных уроков из таких событий.
Работать сегодня и так запредельно сложно, а тут…
Факт первый – в день столкновений, когда проукраинская хода болельщиков столкнулась с анти майданом, всех руководителей милиции прокурор собрал на совещание «как правильно бороться с беспорядками». Совещание продолжалось, как меня проинформировали, при выключенных телефонах, четыре(!!) часа. С 12 до 16 часов. Хода болельщиков началась в 15…
Факт второй – более 100 задержанных в ночь после беспорядков и смертей милиция намеревалась этапировать для суда и содержания под стражей в другой регион незамедлительно, что бы предупредить возможные беспорядки. Прокурор запретил.
Факт третий – сегодня после того, как толпа сепаратистов заблокировала горуправление Одессы и ворвалось во двор, прокурор принял решение отпустить задержанных…
На том все.

P/S Написал эти строчки в полевом лагере АТО. Неподалеку от Славянска. Последние несколько дней я почти все время провожу вместе с подразделениями МВД, ВС, СБУ. Здесь, на передовой все условности уходят на второй план. Здесь стреляют. Здесь все становится черно-белым. Потому, так особенно «достала» «поддержка» теневых «героев» на фоне и без того множественного предательства и безволия и по милицейским, и по многим государственным структурам.
Мы здесь постараемся не подвести. Закончим дело тут – обязательно поеду в Одессу. Работы много. Для всех.

Putin has presented his position. He does not want all these “defense systems” pointing to his backyard. Whether the West agrees with him or not, they need to deal with this directly. They either have to refute this theory, or negotiate somehow. But I am sure they are doing this behind the scene.

I don’t know about other countries, but at least the U.S wouldn’t like it if someone has decided to put some missiles near their backyard (say, somewhere near the Bay of Pig in Cuba).

Don’t do to others which you don’t want them to do to you. This is a simple life lesson.

As for the Ukrainians, I feel sad for them. Unfortunately, whatever is happening now in the south-eastern cities, is just smoke screen. The rioters from both sides, the army, the ordinary citizens, and even the politicians are all being used.