Thursday, April 11, 2024

Nearly Half of All Russians Oppose Putin but Half of These Opponents Do So from One Side and Half from the Other, Shelin Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Apr. 8 – Surveys show that far more Russians oppose Putin than many think, with nearly half saying they are against the current Kremlin leader, Sergey Shelin says; but this group is split between those who oppose him because they are democrats and those who do so because they are even more authoritarian and aggressive than he is.

            The independent Russian commentator says that this pattern constitutes “the paradox of the opposition.” It is far larger than many suppose, but it consists of almost two equally large wings that agree on nothing except that Putin should be replaced by someone else with different policies (

            There is thus little chance that this opposition will ever be able to drive Putin from office or install someone it favors in his place. But the size of the opposition also means that the incumbent ruler does not have the overwhelming support that he and his minions suggest – only enough that together with repression and the divisions of his opponents to keep him where he is.

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