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Putin Calls Off Annual Q&A With Public

Vladimir Putin listens to a question during an annual televised phone-in show in Moscow in 2009.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that he will not hold his annual question-and-answer session with the public this year.

Russia's "Kommersant" daily quotes presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov as saying Putin's so-called direct line to the Russian public will not be held in 2012.

In its place, the Russian president is expected to hold a large press conference at the end of November.

Putin has held the annual question-and-answer sessions, which are broadcast live on state television, ever since 2001, during his first year as Russian president.

Putin used the annual hours-long program to respond to questions from ordinary citizens throughout Russia via telephone, letters, and broadcast links.

No reason was given for the cancelation, which comes amid rising public opposition to his rule.

Based on reporting by,