(Reuters) – Dozens of villagers gathered and cheered for Russian President Vladimir Putin during an unannounced visit on Friday to a community near Moscow where he has ancestral ties.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian media that Putin visited the village of Turginovo to see places associated with his family.
A video clip published by local news websites showed dozens of residents flocking to the smiling president after he got out of a car in the village square at dusk.
One of the women said: “With health, strength and good luck.” “Thank you for coming to see us. Because you remember us.”
During a pause of only a few minutes, Putin expressed his surprise that the science teacher at the local school was studying a PhD and promised to improve conditions for attracting qualified people to the region.
Residents told him they needed more and better housing.
“Yes, yes, I agree, we will do everything gradually,” Putin told them during the meeting, which lasted only a few minutes. “My best wishes at the beginning of the school year.”
He was returning to Moscow after speaking to students at a “management laboratory” near the capital on “Knowledge Day” on September 1, the traditional start of the academic year.
(Reporting by Ron Popeski; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
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