During the past year, the political situation inside Russia was complicated. This was further instigated by actions of foreign forces that tried to instigate instability by fueling anti-government protests and increasing diplomatic and economic pressure on Russia.
The annual press conference of Vladimir Putin that took place on December 19 also caused many questions and some negative reactions. These were caused by the fact that the President did not answer straightly to several key questions regarding sensitive issues within the society (for example, the situation in the medical sector). A part of the President’s answers (for example, the decision to continue the gas transit through Ukraine) was just puzzling.
A high number of dislikes to Putin’s press-conference recordings on YouTube should be noted. The NTV TV channel: 6.6k likes, 21k dislikes. The Rossiya 24 TV channel: 14k likes, 49k dislikes. Such a like-dislike ratio can be partly explained by cyberwarfare and propaganda efforts by Western structures involved in the media campaign against Russia. Another signal in favour of this version is that the like-dislike ration of shorter videos of separate questions is much more positive for the Russian leader. Nonetheless, the entire trend cannot be explained by technical efforts of some foreign players only.
The next presidential election in Russia will be held in 2024. The internal political situation in the country remains complicated and chances that Russia will not pass through some phase of instability are low. In these conditions, it’s interesting to note that on December 20, Gennady Zyuganov a prominent Russian politician and the leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (an influential opposition party) said that he does not rule out the snap presidential election in September 2020. He also said that in January-February 2020, there will be a forum of popular patriotic forces. The participants of the forum will reportedly agree on a common political program and create a government of public confidence. According to Zyuganov, with this program, the people’s patriotic forces will participate in both parliamentary and possible early presidential elections.
This does not mean that any kind of snap elections will be held in Russia in September 2020. However, this is a straight and worrying signal showing the current state of the internal political situation in Russia.
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