Staunton, February 10 – The anti-Putin attitudes of people reacting to a picture of Vladimir Putin in a Moscow apartment building elevator not only could be replicated throughout Russia but resemble the same kind of attitudes that were found in the Soviet Union about Leonid Brezhnev during his long reign, Igor Eidman says.
“The Putin regime is without mass social support,” the Russian sociologist says. “This distinguishes it from fascism and Stalinism,” which however horrific really enjoyed the support of large swaths of the populations of Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5E402FBE922A2).
But today, the only people backing Putin are the siloviki and officials who are paid to do so, “and also elderly people who remain under the strong influence of television propaganda and (or) the Russian Orthodox Church.” The numbers of the first two are growing but those of the last are declining rapidly, Eidman continues.
At the present time, he argues, “neither the lower strata of society, nor the intelligentsia, nor the creative class, nor the workers provide majority support to the authorities.” And that leads to two obvious conclusions:
On the one hand,” the late Putin regime (like the late Brezhnevite one) is mortally ill. It is maintained only on the apathy and fear of the population,” thus creating a situation in which the current arrangement of power and its policies will not survive any serious shock including of course the death of its organizers.
And on the other hand, “anyone who comes in place of the aging dictator will be condemned to begin a new ‘perestroika’ in order to reanimate the system and recover the support of the population.” As with Brezhnev, that may not happen with the first or even the second successor; but there is no question that it will occur, Eidman concludes.