Putin’s popularity, explained

From Matthew Dal Santo at The Interpreter:

The main point is, however, that Russia’s ‘conservative turn’ since Putin’s return to the Kremlin in March 2012 — widely deplored in the West as a creeping authoritarianism with roots only in the wiles of Putin’s mind — may be closer to the world view of Russia’s conservative and patriotic majority than most Western governments would care to admit……

To Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Centre, however, this is betting on the wrong horse. ‘This isn’t just about Putin’, he told a group I was with in Moscow. ‘It’s about the nature of society as a whole. Putin has been able to rule this country in an authoritarian way with the consent of the governed.’ The imagined liberal majority looking to the West for emancipation doesn’t exist. Russian liberals, he said, ‘have the same problem the revolutionaries have always had in Russia: they look down on the rest of the country as dupes.

‘But Trenin is just as pessimistic about the ability of Russia’s present rulers to address the country’s underlying problems. ‘We will have to expect some sort of upheaval. The dams will have to be broken somehow.’

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3 thoughts on “Putin’s popularity, explained

  1. Jay T says:

    It can also be said,that Putin stopped the rot of the oligarchs raping Russia’s natural resources..regardless of your point of view re;Putin..he inherited / took over an utterly corrupt Russia…stopping the rot will always put many noses out of joint,including those in the west.

    • michael caine says:

      Stop the rot ? Putin has encircled himself with oligarchs and caused the rot , people in villages have no sanitation and useable roads , remote villages in eastern Poland have a sewrage systems after leaving the soviet rule .Putin’s Russia is directing money to the oligarchs at the expense of local Russian population.

      • Jay T says:

        What is different about what you describe about Putin different to many western countries and eastern countries,particularly the US…the so-called democratic government of the US funnels billions of dollars to their wall street pals and military complex oligarchs….the distinction for me is Putin is doing his thing..to build Russia..rightly or wrongly…and the western media are all over it like slavouring Pavlov dogs…There is a hypocrisy about the west that gets under my jocks..and I live in the west,,and I enjoy to do so…however..because Putin infers that he will run Russia his way and does not kowtow to western wishes he is made out to be evil and a despot…how many countries in the world have Russian troops on the ground…2,3…how many countries have US troops on the ground..146 !!! That’s right !

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