Putin spends $1.2 billion on propaganda for 'elections' - The Observer

Anna PaskevychNews
Russian presidential elections-2024
Putin "weak but portrays a strongman riding bareback across Siberia"

The "victory" of incumbent Russian President Vladimir Putin in the "election" is a foregone conclusion, as he has no serious challenger. In addition, the Kremlin has spent approximately $1.2 billion on lies and propaganda, falsification of the results of the "vote" in the occupied territories of Ukraine, and an unimpeded nationwide campaign.

This was reported by the British newspaper The Observer. According to the article published on March 17, the frequency with which Putin resorts to nuclear threats is frightening and irresponsible.

These threats have become almost routine, leading to speculation that Putin is not really serious. However, while there is certainly an element of bluffing and crude attempted intimidation, complacency about his behavior is dangerous - and potentially catastrophically misplaced, the newspaper writes.

"Putin is not fit to lead Russia. He portrays himself as a man of the people, but he completely lacks decency, honesty and honor," the article says, noting that the Kremlin leader should stand trial in The Hague, where he is facing war crimes charges, rather than run for another six years.

The Observer writes that Putin's victory in the March 15-17 "elections" is "a foregone conclusion" because he has no serious opponent. In addition, the Kremlin has spent approximately $1.2 billion on what Moscow claims is "information management," but in reality is lying and propaganda, election fraud in the occupied Ukrainian territories, and an unimpeded nationwide campaign, the authors write.

The "generous state funding," which reportedly includes a 20-fold increase in spending on Internet projects, platforms, and media, has a single goal: a landslide victory for Putin.

"If it weren't so ominous, Putinism could objectively be considered an interesting phenomenon. ...A weak man pretends to be a strong man, riding a bare-chested horse through Siberia and killing his rivals with mockery and sneer. For almost a quarter of a century, Putin has bent the entire system of government in Russia to his will," the article says.

According to the newspaper, Putin "has turned the state into his personal fiefdom and embezzled on an obscene scale."

Putinism operates through fear and corruption, backed by exploitative patriotism.

The main critic of Russian President Alexei Navalny was killed for exposing such abuses, ridiculing an insecure Putin and making him feel insignificant when he desperately needs to feel great, the article says.

"This travesty of an election will be remembered, if at all, for the cynical and methodical manner in which Putin and his cronies stole the people's right to freely elect a Russian leader. He will be remembered for his accompanying threats to unleash a nuclear war that would destroy humanity around the world," The Observer writes.

The newspaper also notes that the "brute brutality of Putinism" will forever remain a symbol of last week's hammer attack in Lithuania on Navalny's associate Leonid Volkov.

"In the end, it is violence, not votes, that keeps Putin in power. But it cannot sustain him indefinitely. The oppressed in Russia must turn to their history and keep their faith. One day, this too will pass," the newspaper believes.

The "elections" of the Russian president will take place from March 15 to 17. Voting will be completed on Sunday evening, and the first results are to be announced on March 18.

As OBOZ.UA previously reported, the occupiers also organized pseudo-elections in the occupied territories of Ukraine. In occupied Mariupol, construction workers who came from Russia were driven to polling stations, and in Henichesk, people are going door-to-door to force people to go to the polls.

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