Putin press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said in an interview that some of the questions asked at President Vladimir Putin’s recent end-of-the-year news conference were not actually questions but rather complaints, or even slander.
According to the Russian news agency TASS, he said, “Naturally, we were sorry to hear some question that had nothing to do with journalism, various complaints. As a matter of fact, they were rather petitions from citizens. These people were not journalists at all and, regrettably, they only used the time of those journalists who wanted to ask their questions.” Moreover, Peskov stated that some information was not true. He said, “As a matter of fact, it can be called a slander.”
The Kremlin spokesman claimed that not all those accredited to the news conference proved to be journalists. Hence the format of the event was a sort of mixture of a news conference for the press and a question-and-answer session with people. He said this problem needed to be analysed so as not to mix these formats. Nevertheless, he said it was a "brilliant" news conference.
Peskov stressed, “It is still an unprecedented format. No other global leader can boast of being capable of maintaining such a format of speaking online either with the country’s citizens or with the mass media.”