Staunton, April 27 – In the runup to the March 18 presidential elections, Kremlin officials called for the media to boost good news stories in order to boost support for Vladimir Putin. Now in the wake of his victory, there has been a new flood of bad news before his inauguration that helps to explain declining levels of trust in him among Russians.
After a period of good news during the campaign, Znak journalist Yekaterina Vinokurova says, Putin has had to function in an environment both at home and abroad, there seems to be nothing but “tragedies, problems, and scandals.” Not surprisingly, he has lost support as a result (znak.com/2018-04-27/plohaya_informpovestka_grozit_isportit_inauguraciyu_putina
If the wave of bad news persists, however, that could change, Kalachev suggests, and that would be “a systemic threat” that those in power would have to worry about.
Abbas Gallyamov, another Moscow political analyst, argues that the current “bad news” problem is the direct result of the Kremlin’s effort to suppress all public conflicts during the campaign. Now, they are simply resurfacing rather than emerging out of nowhere as it might seem to some.
According to Vinokurova, people near the Presidential Administration “do not consider” the president’s agenda in any way affected by these news stories. The Kremlin, they say, has a variety of means to change the focus of the media and can be expected to use them as the inauguration approaches.
Yevgeny Minchenko, a political consultant, agrees. The Kremlin thinks it is coping quite well with negative developments for which it bears no responsibility and that it can take steps like changing the make up of the government that will cause Russians to forget or at least downgrade their current concerns.