Monday, July 17, 2017

Kremlin Still Unable to Come Up with Future for Putin to Run On, Vedomosti Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 17 – An article in today’s Vedomosti suggesting that the Kremlin has not been able to come up with “an image of the future” which Vladimir Putin can use in the upcoming presidential elections has sparked widespread comment in the Internet that perhaps this means that “Putin doesn’t have a future” (e.g., 

            In the Moscow paper, Elena Mukhametshina and Olga Churakova report that sources “close to the Presidential Administration” have told them that despite many “stormy” meetings, Kremlin officials haven’t been able to come close to an agreement on what Putin’s “future” should be (

            The difficulties have been so intense, one source told the journalists, that Putin or his top aides have replaced “the curator” responsible for this project several times and brought in new people from polling agencies and the government media to give advice on what might work as a campaign agenda.

            Among those involved in this project now are television host Valery Fadeyev, Konstantin Kostin of the Foundation for the Development of Civil Society and Aleksandr Oslon of the Public Opinion Foundation.” They have not been able to agree either with Kremlin officials or with each other, the journalists suggest.

            In addition, Mukhametshina and Churakova say, the leadership of the United Russia Party, the All-Russian Popular Front, and the VTsIOM polling agency are involved as is the Valdai discussion club.

            “The image of the future is the main ideological message of the campaign, which explains the goal of policy of the new term for various social groups and society as a whole,” one participant in these discussions says.  The current “triad – justice, respect and trust” is insufficient as far as most of those discussing this topic are concerned.

            According to another, “the image of the future must be ready by the end of September” so that the campaign can be launched in earnest in December.  That schedule adds urgency for some but has led others to say that any final decision about “the image of the future” need not be made just yet.

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