The communications systems for President Vladimir Putin's Q&A session are facing DDoS attacks, a host of the event said.
"Vladimir Vladimirovich, I was just told that we had a bad connection with Elena Vladimirovna Kalinina [from Novokuznetsk]. Attempts are actually being made to attack our digital systems right now, powerful DDOS attacks", the TV host said.
"Are you kidding? Seriously?", Putin replied, adding that "it turns out there are Kuzbass hackers".
The organisers of the "Direct Line With Vladimir Putin" failed to establish a good connection with a resident of Russia's Kuzbass Region, who wanted to talk about local kindergarten problems.
Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has confirmed that the system is under a hacking attack, but noted that its source remains unclear. At the same time, Russian provider Rostelecom said it is currently trying to block the attacks.
This year, Putin is holding the event without a live audience due to the pandemic. However, in addition to traditional ways of communicating with the president (SMS, phone calls, or website) people were able to submit their questions via text messages on a special mobile app and via social media.