Today a Russian Foreign Ministry official posted a link to a TASS article, the headline: VTsIOM: 73.2% of Russians surveyed are ready to vote for Putin in the presidential elections.
VTsIOM is the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion, a polling company.
If you follow Russian politics, as I do, this would be an alarming number. Only 73.2% of Russians are planning to vote for Vladimir Putin for President of Russia in 2018. This is a dramatic decrease from the normal 80 to 83%.
Let’s look at a few of the reasons why support for Putin is deceasing.
The economy is down but Russian propaganda says it is up. Russia’s economy is oil dependent, but now oil prices are down and oil dependency is decreasing.
Western sanctions are having an effect on Russia’s economy, despite Russia’s vehement denials.
The Russian Ruble is practically worthless. People are hoarding their money, saving for high priority needs, therefore Russian money is not circulating, minimizing any chance of economic rise from internal forces.
The Russian infrastructure has been largely ignored. This includes the Russian educational system, for the past generation. Now the Russian people are not only poor, they are also largely uneducated.
Russia is systemically corrupt, crime syndicates run the country. This includes judicial and law enforcement systems. This scares off foreign investors.
The Russian military in Ukraine is inept, directly contradicting the grand ‘show’ Russia put on in Syria. As a result, Russian separatists sponsored by Russia, operating in Ukraine, are mired down and cannot fight effectively.
Putin has put himself in a lose-lose situation with Crimea. Sanctions will continue to be put upon Russia until Crimea is returned to Ukraine, Put refuses to return Crimea.
Putin acts sporadically, often without reason. Putin disappears for days, weeks, or months, attending only minor or figurehead meetings but fails to get involved in actual progress working in Russia. Russia put a full-tilt proxy attack against Ukraine, which stalled, for over two years, but now is allowing all operations in Ukraine to stagnate. Almost every piece of obsolete Russian equipment has been shipped to Ukraine for “separatist” use, only Russian troops get new or well-maintained equipment.
Putin lies to his own people, often right to their face. That VTsIOM produced a study which implies falling support for Putin is shocking and flies in the face of what Putin says. Russia is becoming a failed State and Putin is to blame.