For now, they are being careful not to rock the boat. But privately, of course, many blame Putin for the military situation in which Russia finds itself today – it is not very advantageous.By the way, the first candidate for president has already emerged: Marine Corps Captain Ivan Otrakovsky, who was nominated by the All-Russian Officers’ Assembly, which is known for its criticism of the Kremlin. Is he a representative of a real political force that can oppose Putin in the elections, or is he a creature of the presidential apparatus to frighten the public?
He is neither. These are outcasts who are coming out of the woodwork against the backdrop of the difficult military situation. I’m pretty sure the Kremlin won’t register him to run – I can’t imagine they would. He will not be given any platform and they will most likely try to squeeze him out of the political field. He poses no real danger to the authorities.
For at least the next few months, the regime will remain relatively strong, basically in complete control of the political field. And even the systemic opposition is still more systemic than oppositional. Now nothing anti-Putin can appear anywhere.
And if it appears, it will be immediately crushed, and cruelly and pointedly. Thus, I would not expect any surprises, at least today. And I can say the same about the mood in the Kremlin, where there are no worries about how the elections will go. If Putin runs, they have no doubt that he will get more than 75% of the vote.What will Putin’s election campaign be built around? Will the “special military operation” (SVO) figure in the ideological component?
I can’t guess what it [the campaign] will be like throughout the election year. The only thing I can refer to is documents recently published by Verstka
, which, as far as I know, are authentic, about how governors are being prepped for the elections. How to work with what audiences, what to focus on, there are a lot of interesting things. But I sense that for now, they [the authorities] have an inner desire not to bet heavily on the SVO, patriotism, mobilization.
They would rather talk about social problems, some kind of national consensus, conservative, traditional values. In other words, try to look for a value-laden basis for uniting society around the president. But this is now, and what things will be like in a year is very difficult to predict. Everything is forgotten very quickly, and it may turn out that what is being done now will not be in demand in six months.Will soldiers and their families support Putin or will they oppose him?
We should turn to sociology. And sociology shows that today, firstly, this is not such a large constituency to say that it will really have a significant impact on the balance of forces. Secondly, among people who have family members in the war or are serving themselves, the anti-Putin line is not very noticeable. Rather, it’s the other way around.
I do not want to predict how the situation will develop, but I do not see any danger for the presidential campaign from that angle.