In just one day, roads of a Siberian city were repaired, swindled fishery workers got wads of cash and a child prodigy was invited to go a Crimean summer camp. The one thing that made it possible was President Vladimir Putin's call-in show where distressed Russians appealed to the country's leader to solve their problems.

Local media on Friday ran a myriad of news stories about the Midas touch effect that Putin's Thursday TV show has produced. Hours after the show, investigators rushed to open probes into reported abuse while regional officials pledged support for projects that they had previously said they could not afford.

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday lauded the willingness of local officials to "put things right."