Wednesday, September 5, 2018

New Putin TV Program Likely to Prove Counterproductive

Paul Goble

            Staunton, September 4 – Faced with declining ratings in the polls, the Kremlin has launched a new weekly television program devoted to all things Vladimir Putin. But the program, called “Moscow, Kremlin, Putin” has already become the object of popular derision and thus may make the situation of the powers that be even worse. 

            The reaction of the Telegram channel SerpomPo is not atypical.  It says that this new program is “a clear example of the inadequacy of the Kremlin and its leader given what is taking place in the country. The times of talk shows and pictures in Russia have passed.” They may have worked in the past but not now (

                “People don’t need this now. They need the powers that be to make decisions which will lead to an improvement in the lives of citizens and not stories” about what the president “eats for breakfast.” In sum, “today is not 2000 but rather 2018,” SerpomPo continues.

            Trying to exploit Putin’s image all by itself shows the hopeless distance of the rulers from the ruled and the inability of those in charge to come up with anything new that will do anything good. In many ways, the Telegram channel suggests, this is a reprise of 1981 and Leonid Brezhnev’s approach during the Soviet stagnation.

            Then, Soviet television showed Brezhnev as a good hunter and a disciplined worker and thought that was enough. “But what happened? Were the problems of the USSR in any way resolved?” No, within a decade the country had fallen apart. Those who are trying the same thing now can expect “a similar result.”

            It would be “more correct,” the Telegram channel says, “if the new program were to be called ‘The Cult of No Personality,’” yet another nod to the Brezhnev era when Soviet wits observed that Stalin’s cult of personality had been succeeded by Brezhnev’s cult which lacked one.

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