Putin suddenly cancels marathon TV call with Russian callers

The Kremlin leader’s annual direct line telephone marathon will not be held this June (Photo: AFP)

Vladimir Putin abruptly canceled a live television program that saw him answer questions from the Russian public.

There is speculation that he was afraid of a barrage of ‘hostile’ questions surrounding the war in Ukraine.

No official reason was given for the cancellation.

The annual show ‘Direct Line with Vladimir Putin’ has been broadcast since 2004.

The Q & A-style show asks ‘ordinary’ citizens throughout Russia to submit questions.

The announcement that this year’s broadcast would be canceled came as a surprise, as the Kremlin had previously said it would take place ‘in the foreseeable future’.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said a new date for the annual event was ‘unknown’.

“The direct line cannot take place this month,” he added.

It is the first time that the Direct Line program has been delayed since 2004 (Photo: AP)

The Direct Line show has been running annually under Putin’s presidency since 2001, with the exception of 2004 and 2012.

In previous broadcasts, he has answered about 70 questions in detail.

Many believe that Putin has canceled because of possible backlogs in the form of questions about Ukraine.

This year’s call for questions could lead to an influx of questions about Russia’s high death toll in Ukraine or the many military failures in its ‘special military campaign’.

Others have suggested that Putin’s declining health may be an explanation for why the Direct Line broadcast was delayed.

It is thought that the 69-year-old would struggle to stay on live TV for the proposed time frame of three to four hours.

The news comes amid worldwide claims that Putin is fighting against blood, thyroid or abdominal cancer.

Rumors of Russian president’s health continue to spread (Photo: Getty Images)

The Kremlin has repeatedly said its health is robust, and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently denied that Putin was ill.

Most recently, British intelligence bosses claimed Putin used body doubles to hide his ill health.

MI6 officials apparently claimed that the Russian president may not have even attended recent events, including the Moscow Victory Day Parade, in person.

Many of his TV interviews and addresses could also have been pre-recorded, one source of intelligence told the Daily Star.

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Putin suddenly cancels marathon TV call with Russian callers

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