The audience were advised not to drink alcohol or water because the show could last up to five hours. The audience were also advised not to wear checkered or striped clothing.

“The Direct Line [with Vladimir Putin] is a show, and a show should always be well-prepared,” an informed source told RBC.

Direct Line with Vladimir Putin is a live question and answer show held annually since 2001 in which Putin responds to questions from Russian citizens in the audience, through live video, or submitted by post, telephone or email.

The longest Direct Line was held in 2013 when Putin responded to 85 questions during 4 hours 47 minutes.