Staunton, June 21 – Analyst after analyst say that the 81 questions Russians posed to Vladimir Putin during his “Direct Line” program and the responses of the Kremlin leader show the growing gap between him and Russian society, a gap that many have pointed to in recent months but that Putin by repeating this ritual has highlighted and perhaps made worse as a result.
The After Empire portal features three comments in this regard. Aleksandr Kynyev, an instructor at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics, says that the authorities had no good choices once they decided to go ahead. To take an upbeat position given all the problems would make them look stupid; to admit them would only open the way to more anger.
The Kremlin clearly decided that it had to make a choice between “listening and doing nothing,” Kynyev continues, and “making concessions.” It feared doing the latter and so it showed that it recognizes how bad things are but is not prepared to do anything about them, underscoring how out of touch they are (afterempire.info/2019/06/21/pryamaya-liniya/