Sunday, August 7, 2022

Putin Wants Regional Heads to Play Expanded Role in Consolidating Support for His War in Ukraine

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 14 – In the last week alone, Vladimir Putin has met with the heads of three federal subjects and told them that he wants them to play a bigger role in ensuring support for his “special military operation” in Ukraine, an indication, analysts say, of the Kremlin leader’s desire to create “a new patriotic platform” in the country.

            These meetings feature a new stress by Putin that the regional and republic leaders must “be together with the army and with the people whom we are saving,” Pavel Danilin, director of the Moscow Center for Political Analysis, adding that “the support of the civilian population and its unity is no less important than the support of the army” (

            Konstantin Kalachev, head of the Political Experts Group, is explicit: “Putin has begun to form a new patriotic flatform and therefore from the governors are expected not only reports about the situation in the regions but also a demonstration of their involvement in the special operation, with the military and in the Donbass, matters of collective responsibility.”

            And political scientist Maksim Zharov says that what Putin’s new stress is about is “cementing support for the special operation among the heads of the regions themselves.” His involvement, he continues, means there are problems in this area and that only the president personally can give the orders to overcome that.

            None of the experts with whom spoke suggests that the governors are insufficiently supportive of the war or that they are not doing enough to promote support among the population for the military effort, but that is the clear implication of what Putin must be thinking if he is beginning this effort now.

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