The above is an incomplete list of problems with which the Russian authorities have started the new year. The December decision of the Central Bank to hike its key rate
made life harder for those who planned to take out a mortgage to buy a house and has already led to serious conflicts
between banks and construction companies. Meanwhile, the problem of inflation remains very sensitive. A disagreement is intensifying between the government and the Central Bank over the extension of a requirement mandating the sale of FX earnings
by exporters, an emergency measure adopted last year to stop the depreciation of the ruble against global currencies.
All these events do not quite fit into the logic of Putin’s reelection campaign. Or rather, its two versions. The first one is “peace” – it is reflected in a big exhibition about Russia that is taking place in Moscow
, which presents the achievements – economic, technological, infrastructural – of the country’s regions and corporations during Putin’s presidency. There is practically no war theme there.
The second version of the reelection campaign is “war.” It promotes the thesis that Russia is waging a “defensive war for its existence with the collective West,” with a vote for Putin in the presidential election seen as an important contribution to defending Russia against external threats.
Since public opinion is weakly politicized, people in general are not reacting to the fact that in the official campaign there is no mention of the problems in January – the heating crisis, local protests, uncertainty at the front. Ordinary people “forget about” negative news relatively easily and do not associate it with the government or its opponents, or with the expectation of any changes at all.
It is another matter that the government itself faces internal contradictions. Ignoring them inevitably increases its self-confidence but also makes it difficult to foresee potential new points of friction and contributes to a general atrophying of the governance system and a decrease in its interest in managing risks.