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Russia: Vyshinsky-Sentsov prisoner swap not in question yet – Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Moscow would take all possible actions to gain the release of journalist Kirill Vyshinsky detained in Ukraine, while speaking during his annual ‘Direct Line’ Q&A in Moscow on Thursday.

Putin noted that Moscow “hasn’t yet thought about” an exchange of Vyshinsky for Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov, sentenced to 20 years for allegedly plotting a “terrorist attack” in Crimea, as their cases are “completely different” and “not comparable.”

During the session, people across Russia have the opportunity to contact President Putin via telephone, text message or the dedicated website.

This year’s phone-in line is being held in an updated format.

The event-hosting multimedia studio is equipped with video walls along the perimeter that enables Putin to immediately get in contact with regional governors and the cabinet ministers in order to address issues straight away.

Another feature of the ongoing session is the absence of a studio audience. Thus, allowing the Russian leader to focus on questions and requests filed by Russian citizens.

So far some 2 million questions have been submitted for Putin’s Direct Line 2018 Q&A. The first phone-in line with President Putin took place in 2001 when he received around 400,000 questions.

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