The world is done with Russian president. But what makes Vladimir Putin so powerful?
It was the end of 20th century. World’s biggest nation was scuffling with demonic amount of challenges- the aftermath of Soviet Union disintegration, rising anti-West sentiments, widespread corruption, organized prevelance of mafias and criminals, and the worst of all, a semi-drunk, incompetent president. Boris Yeltsin was the last leader that Russia needed during the onset of 21st century.
And while it all sounds like a dooms fate for Moscow, the timing couldn’t be better for the debut of Russia’s next president- Vladimir Putin. The man who vowed to the office in 2000 and hasn’t left ever since.
In Putin, Russia witnessed a true savior. The one who refixed the broken economy, restored law and order and assured Russians of keeping the influence of West out of their map. This explains pretty well why Vladimir Putin stayed tremenduosly popular in his country for years.
However, a great launchap can never be the reason for consistently holding the title of “world’s most powerful man” for decades.
So here is an interesting question — how is Russian President Vladimir Putin so powerful? Despite exponential rise in criticism, both outside and domestic, why is Putin still relevant, in fact, growing mightier each day?
Let us break down for you “Putin’s doctrine of power”.
Why And How Is Putin So Powerful?
The President who is answerable to NO ONE
We have already talked about how Putin’s political career is built on a perfect opening pitch. And to be fair, he used opportunity to the fullest by giving Russia everything that it expected from its leadership back then.
Consequently, Putin’s supporters rose to power too. And within no time, they together started the process of chucking out competition. Mayorial and gubernatorial elections were soon suspended. Politcal parties too were soon reorganized, ultimately leading to formation of United Russia- the current ruling party.
With time, Russia has created vertical system of power, on top of which sits Putin- the president who is answerable to none.
Mainstream media under Putin’s power umbrella
There are a lot of tools of public influence that Vladimir Putin hijacked under his reign. The most notable of all is the mainstream media. Anti-west sentiments and the state of turbulance was already well-televised in Russia.
However, early 2000s registered extensive nationalism in reporting, increased number of movies on Soviet phase and wars, and how Putin is the Good Samaritan that the nation needed.
No opposition- or should say, crushed down
One crucial step of systematic path towards dictatorship is eradicating any opposition. Whether political or social. The world has often woke up to the headlines telling how Russian opposition members were mysteriously killed or imprisoned. The most famous example of the same is Boris Nemtsov, a political leader of opposition shot dead in 2015 near Kremlin.
NGOs too, die a strange death in Russia. Plenty of NGOs have been shut after being listed as foriegn agents for receiving funding from international organizations.
The Church support
In domestic politics, one of the huge motivator in Putin’s popularity has been the Church. The rise of nationalistic sentiments in Russia during early 2000s paved a level groudn for the Church to gain a prominence too. In the last two decades, the followers of Russian Orthodox Church in the country have drastically increased from 20 to 80 percent, according to a research.
This perfectly aligns with the conservative sentiments that Putin’s power dynamics want to master.
While there are a myriad of factors that spell the unshakable power dynamics of Vladimir Putin, the biggest of all has to be his diplomatic accumen. This is the man who is secretive, hardly does what he says, and is a trouble for the world. But no one understands the geopolitical details like him. Putin knows what West want, he knows which chords to hit. He knows that he can’t directly confront his biggest adversary Europe. Therefore, he carves his path gradually to confront them.
He is also well-familiar with the bargaining chips that Russia is well-endowed with- the natural reserve edge. And when so many winning factors align with an authoritarian, the result is often what we are witnessing in Ukraine.