Letter From the Editors: Feb. 6 - 12, 2017

Author: Matthew Larson

Kremlin’s Election Catch-22; Trump and Putin: Bros or Foes?

The Kremlin has an election problem. It needs to get Vladimir Putin reinstalled as president in the March 2018 election, but it needs voters to care about voting to show up to the polls. Right now, not many people do, since electoral outcomes seem generally predetermined making, voting pointless. So the goal is to get people interested in the election by perhaps giving voters enticing ballot options. But the problem is that Russians are politically illiterate, if you believe a federal official cited by RBC who says that except for the Duma faction leaders and a few high-ranking officials like Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, there are no other names recognizable to the voters. There had been talk that the Kremlin would try to get the perennial establishment opposition leaders to step aside and let younger, fresher faces run in the election, but according to RBC’s source, that is not going to happen.

Russia’s tired opposition faces are all familiar from the 1990s (LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky proudly boasts he is running for president for the sixth time - a record in Europe), and they more or less all have the Kremlin’s blessing and march to the beat of its drum. In fact, the Russian Federation Communist Party and A Just Russia, which have not yet officially nominated presidential candidates, have said they are going to "discuss the issue with the Kremlin." I guess they need Putin’s approval. So no matter who you vote for, you’re likely voting for Putin’s agenda.

There are, however, a few brave politicians bucking the Kremlin line. Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky, another political old-timer, is rousing his base and reaching out to young voters with the message that Putin is living in the past and making a "shameful, harmful and criminal" land grab in Ukraine ...

This is an article from EVXpress, a service of East View Information Services that allows you to search across more than 12 million journals and news publications for fee and immediately download full text using your credit card.
Price: $19.00
Delivery: immediate download or e-mail attachment
This content appears in EVXpress under license from the publisher. Inquiries regarding the content should be directed to the publisher directly.