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Russia: Regional Governor Holds Twitter Q&A

Categories: Eastern & Central Europe, Russia, Citizen Media, Digital Activism, Media & Journalism, Politics, Protest, RuNet Echo

Two days ago Alexander Tkachev, governor of the the southern Kradnodarskiy Krai (one of Russia's 87 federal regions), announced a “twitter-conference” [1] [ru], soliciting questions from his followers. Today he spent a few hours answering several dozen of them. The new-media-savvy public relations move met with hundreds of “trolling” questions like “how is your billionaire niece doing?” and “what types of off-shores do you recommend?” Of course, Tkachev did not answer these [2] [ru]. However, he also failed to address some of the more legitimate concerns, for example about the recently flooded city of Krymsk [3] or local corruption.

Some users have also alleged that Tkachev only answered planted questions from fake accounts [4] [ru]. The Q&A session is now over, but its hash-tag #вопросТкачеву [5] [ru] is still busy, mainly with rhetorical questions like [6] [ru] “Tkachev, where have you lost your conscience?”