14/12/2011 17:57 GMT | Updated 14/12/2011 18:02 GMT

Putin Set To Break Silence Over Russia Protests In Live TV Appearance

After thousands of Russians have taken to the streets to protest the latest elections, their Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will finally break his silence.

On Thursday he is expected to finally address the Russian people's concerns in televised call-in show.

The protests of the past two weeks are unprecedented scenes in Putin's 12-year iron grip over Russian politics, both as President and Prime Minister.

Despite a protest 50,000 strong in Moscow on the weekend, accompanied by many more around the country, Putin has so far refused to comment on accusations of corruption and fraud in the elections.

The programme is televised annually and is usually used by Putin to reinforce his brand of personal rule, but the live call-in is likely to be a chance for him to be challenged by his critics publicly.

This uncomfortable appearance will come only the day after one of Putin's main allies, Boris Gryzlov, stepped down as the speaker of the lower house of Russia's parliament.

A second Moscow protest will be happening on Christmas Eve.