“Putin’s approval rating began to decline even before the coronavirus crisis, with oil prices collapsing and the economy deteriorating—and I don’t see what can stop this perfect storm this year,” says Denis Volkov, deputy director of the Levada Center, which does independent polling. … [Read more...] about Vladimir Putin is in Deep Trouble
Third, Putin’s societal control mechanisms are finely honed, effective, and expanding. The Kremlin has increased the budgets and powers of the Ministry of Defense, the National Guard — which Putin directly commands — and other security services to fight COVID-19. Local Russian authorities are testing facial-recognition software and a phone-based system to track resident movement. The National Guard is helping enforce stay-at-home compliance, and the Ministry of Defense has created new military units to combat COVID-19. Putin may repurpose these tools to suppress political dissent and popular protests in the future. … [Read more...] about Putin pressured by global crises, yet finds ways to exploit them
Behar said, “I’m certainly not surprised by this because let’s not forget when he called white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville’ great people,’ quote, unquote. You know, it’s his M.O. to destroy the press because the press will tell you the truth and the truth hurts him in his re-election plan and, you know, he’s worried. He’s very worried that Joe Biden is pulling ahead. Not that this is anything new. He’s always been a denigrator of the truth calling the press the enemy of the people, which is right out of Putin’s book and Stalin and Hitler and all the dictators that he admires so much. I’m not sure he admired Hitler, but he certainly admires Putin, and that’s what they do is denigrate the press. That’s the first thing dictators do.” … [Read more...] about Behar: Trump Calling Press Enemy of the People Right Out of Putin, Stalin, Hitler Playbook
If Putin has been reading the coverage of his disappearance — and that seems likely, based on the many smirks Putin wore in his first public appearance in days — he would have been delighted by the many offhand statements of his Putin-ness. CNN wondered on Friday, “Does Putin ever catch a cold? Does he ever get sick? The Kremlin doesn’t want to allow Putin’s image of virility and strength to become tarnished by the weaknesses of mere humans,” while the Washington Post noted that “manly men don’t get sick.” The International Business Times called him the “seemingly invincible iron man of Russia.” … [Read more...] about Oh, Hey, World. It’s Me, Putin. Did You Miss Me?
Officials have reported to Putin that the influx of COVID-19 patients, particularly those in grave condition, has fallen. Putin noted that the country's hospitals are capable of accommodating over 165,000 coronavirus patients, and they are currently two-thirds occupied. … [Read more...] about Putin says coronavirus situation in Russia stabilized