Putin says some food prices in Crimea are cheaper than in neighboring Krasnodar Krai and adds that after the bridge is fully operational, he hopes prices in Crimea will stabilize and be comparable to average prices across Russia.
Next question is from the city of Kerch in the annexed Ukrainian region of Crimea. Moderator begins with an enthusiastic paean to the arcs of the Kerch Strait bridge in the background. Then a local resident in Kerch thanks Putin for the bridge, which he says has been a long-awaited dream of the city. Talks about how much more business the bridge has brought to the city and then complains about the high price of food and other goods in Crimea.
Putin talks about what a huge country Russia is and then lists a bunch of road projects.
Now we get a question from the new Kerch Strait bridge connecting Russia with the annexed Ukrainian region of Crimea. Cars whizzing by. Police officer says the volume of traffic grows day by day. Moderator then interviews a driver (just stopped by police) to talk about how happy he is that the bridge is open. Then asks if the driver wants to ask a question to Putin. The driver acts like he is surprised, but then begins a well-rehearsed question about the poor quality of roads in Russia. Asks what major projects are planned.
Putin emphasizes that the acting governor of Sakha Republic is a local person (compared to many governors in Russia who were brought in from other regions and installed by Putin).
Putin says the increases should not only be continued but should be increased. Throws the question over to the acting governor of the Sakha Republic who says "we'll get to the bottom of this matter."
Moderator prompts Putin to stop reading SMS questions and they return to phone and video calls. Now summarizing questions about the salaries of state-sector workers from across the country. A school director from Yakutsk complains about his low salary and asks if recent increases were temporary or permanent.
Another SMS question asks if Putin plans to nationalize the oil industry. Putin says it might have been a mistake to privatize it, but notes that now it is already done and would be "complicated and dangerous" to renationalize it.