The relationship of politicians with people plays an essential role in shaping the appearance of a particular country and affects its economic, social, and other types of development. In such a large state as Russia, there are always questions about the attitude of authorities to people and, in particular, President Vladimir Putin’s position. Political scientists characterize his relationship with the population from different points of view. Because of the aggravated political situation around the Russian Federation, the local government pays particular attention to not only to the foreign but also the domestic policy. The EU sanctions caused a number of ambiguous questions among the population. In such conditions, Putin’s relationship with people is trustworthy since Russians have rallied on the basis of developing their own economy, and recent elections prove the citizens’ confidence in their leader.
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The Anti-Corruption Regime
Vladimir Putin has long been in power. According to Zygar, his predecessor, Yeltsin, first announced the new president’s candidacy in late 1999, and since then, Putin has been on the country’s top post for three terms and once as prime minister (17). Today, it is his fourth term, and this figure allows speaking about the commander-in-chief’s relationship with people.
Despite some difficulties within the country’s economy, the population trusts its leader and places great hopes on him. As Zygar claims, the former CEO of the only independent Russian TV Rain, claims, it is largely due to the general idea of countering oligarchs and financial frauds that occur in the country (24). The author argues that “Putin, as we imagine him, does not actually exist” (342). These words emphasize that those who own large funds and can have an influence on different authorities wield power in Russia. Venal journalists, oligarchs, dishonest officials, and other individuals form the country’s image. People’s position, in this case, coincides with the president’s one who regularly speaks about the need to suppress such lawlessness. Zygar mentions those people who constantly participate in various financial and political scams – Mr. Berezovsky, Mr. Khodorkovsky, and other billionaires, and their personalities evoke a great social response (47). When the population sees that the president is struggling or trying to fight lawlessness in power, they share his opinion.
Unification for the Sake of Integrity and Independence
One of the reasons why people entirely trust their president is his course against NATO’s policy since Russia is not part of this alliance. A large team of assistants work to help the president in his policy. Zygar, for example, pays attention to Mr. Kadyrov, the Chechen governor, who in every way contributes to Putin and helps him in maintaining order in the country and abroad (312). Also, the author compares the Russian president with the Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, meaning that the people of the eastern country also support their commander-in-chief like the Russians do (328). The desires to preserve the country’s integrity and prevent NATO troops’ entry form a national idea, and the population unites for its sake. That is why the country builds up its military potential and regularly demonstrates its capabilities to the world.
Putin’s relationship with people is trustworthy, and confidence in the leader is the modern Russians’ feature. An ideological course on combating corruption and fighting against oligarchs provokes approval among the population. Counteraction to any external attempts to violate the state’s integrity unites people around their leader supporting such a policy and intentionally strengthening the country’s military potential.
Zygar, Mikhail. All the Kremlin’s Men: Inside the Court of Vladimir Putin. Public Affairs, 2016.