Happy personal life, porridge for breakfast & occasional swearing: Putin opens up during Q&A

President Vladimir Putin on completion of the annual Q&A live nationwide broadcast from the Moscow Gostiny Dvor studio, April 14, 2016. © Sergey Guneev
The Russian President is well-known for being not the biggest fan of revealing details about his private life, but such questions were unavoidable during an annual Q&A marathon.

Happy bachelor?

The curious female audience members once again wondered when a new first lady would be "presented" to the country.

Bringing such private matters to the forefront might affect exchange rates or oil prices, the president joked. He got used to the fact that people are interested in his private life, he added, but didn't spill the beans.

"Maybe one day I'll be able to satisfy your curiosity," Putin added, intriguingly.

When asked the same question during a previous "direct line" with the people, the Russian leader said he needed "to marry off ex-wife Lyudmila Aleksandrovna first." When this year’s media reports of her now already having been married were quoted by a curious female interrogator, the president said: "I know that she is pleased with her life... So am I, everything is very well with me too."

Putin is on good terms with his ex-wife, they sometimes meet up, he said. "Our relationship has probably got even better than before," he added, laughing.

Porridge for breakfast

Among the millions of questions sent to the president, some are traditionally asked by children. When a girl wondered what the future leader of state did as a child when he was forced to eat a porridge he didn't like, Putin said: "You know, I've never been forced into anything I didn't like in my life."

"Regarding porridge, I eat it with pleasure every morning. Today I had pearl barley," he told the audience, adding that the older a person is, the more appealing this meal gets.

"The fewer teeth you've got, the more you like porridge," he joked.

'They give me cheap medicine'

Giving even more details about his healthy lifestyle, the president has said that he tries his best to do sports in order to avoid having to take medicine. He also gets vaccinated ahead of seasonal flu outbreaks. When he does feel unwell, like if he catches a cold, "I take what I'm given" Putin said. Answering a question about whether he's treated with Russian or foreign medicine, he said, “I guess both, but those are the most common [medicines]. I think [they give me] the cheapest ones," he said, smiling.

'When not pleased with myself, I swear'

With a reference to a famous Russian fairy-tale, the president was asked about what his three wishes would be should he catch a magic goldfish granting them. Putin said one shouldn't rely on fictional characters.

Cadets at the Rokosskovsky Far Eastern Higher Command School in Blagoveshchensk watch the live broadcast of the annual Direct Line with Vladimir Putin. © Igor Ageyenko

"We should be making everything with our own hands," not expecting miracles from the goldfish. "It's best to work hard yourself."

When Putin "is not pleased with himself," he sometimes swears, he admitted when asked whether he uses offensive language "when sure that he's not being filmed."

"My fault," the president said, adding that he "would pray for forgiveness."

President Vladimir Putin facing journalists on completion of the annual Q&A live nationwide broadcast from the Moscow Gostiny Dvor studio, April 14, 2016. © Sergey Guneev