Documentary: 20 Questions with Vladimir Putin

TASS is launching a special project entitled "20 Questions with Vladimir Putin" on February 20, based on an exclusive three-hour-long video interview with the Russian President.

The special project summarizes the interim results of Vladimir Putin’s 20 years at the helm of power. On March 26, 2000, he emerged as the winner in Russia’s presidential election for the first time.

"This project is the first-ever of its kind not only for TASS, but for the Russian segment of the world web, or Runet, as well," said TASS Director General Sergei Mikhailov. "This interview with Vladimir Putin was made especially for the Internet and in accordance with Internet rules and regulations," he noted, pointing out that "it was shot in HD and uses animated infographics," Mikhailov emphasized. "The emergence of this type of television project in cyberspace is virtually an historic event. I am very glad it was none other than TASS that conceived and implemented this project. We strive to not only be the first to obtain genuine first-hand information, but also experiment with modern formats."

"This project is essentially new for TASS and for me personally, although interviewing has been my job for the past 30 years," says Andrei Vandenko, who quizzed the Russian president. "It is not the status of the interviewee or the video format that I’ve never used before that really matters. The challenge was to try to discuss twenty major topics spanning 20 years of Vladimir Putin’s life and work in a three-hour-long conversation. We’ll see how it turns out in the end. I do hope that we will be watching it together. I’d like to thank my TASS colleagues, in particular, for this chance to reset myself as a professional."

The list of questions the head of state was asked to answer turned out to be far longer than the twenty that are mentioned in the project’s title. The Russian leader answered questions about amendments to the Constitution, the government’s resignation and other major domestic and international political events. In addition, he shared his opinion on the role of the opposition, military spending, the middle class, and many other issues.

The episodes will be uploaded three or four times a week for one month - from February 20 to March 25. Furthermore, on March 26 the full version of the film will be released. Each episode boasts animated infographics: facts, figures, quotes and charts. The project’s page on the Internet has Russian and English versions. A transcript of each episode is found below the video. Also, subtitles in Arabic and Chinese will be available in the English version. Russia’s renowned social network Odnoklassniki was selected as the platform for publishing the Russian version of the interview. Each new episode will first appear there.