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Sep 3, 2021
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Only old people go into battle: the Kremlin forges victory in the elections as best it can

Photo: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (from left to right)

Photo: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (left to right) (Photo: Sergei Savostyanov / TASS)

Defense Minister of Russia Sergei Shoigu did not plan to go to the elections to the State Duma, but could not help but respond to the corresponding proposal of the president Vladimir Putin

“I generally considered. For many, many years, more precisely 15 years, that this stage in my life has passed, which is both party and everything, I did not expect that I would participate in any elections. But you know, the President’s proposal in this regard is not just a huge honor, it is a huge responsibility. Here, the first desire is to complete this task. But there was also excitement. When you return there, and there are already new people, not New People as a party, but new people in the party, “Shoigu said in an interview for the Soloviev Live channel.

We will remind, Shoigu is present in the top five of the party list of “United Russia” together with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov, chief physician of the hospital in Kommunarka Denis ProtsenkoCommissioner for the Rights of the Child Anna Kuznetsova and co-chairman of the ONF headquarters Elena Shmeleva

The Foreign Minister, in turn, said that he considered it an honor the president’s proposal to join the top five and help in this capacity to continue to implement the guidelines that are contained in the foreign policy concept approved by Putin.

– Shoigu’s statement that he agreed to go to the polls only at Putin’s request is nothing more than a political figure of speech, – I am convinced political consultant, candidate of philosophical sciences Alexander Segal

“SP”: – Shoigu also says that he did not think that he would return to the party again Why do you think he and some other politicians left the party life, and now they are forced to return? And how deep will this return be?

– Well, what was he supposed to say? That the project was unsuccessful or outdated? Nobody will say that. That the project was manipulative and political technology from the very beginning? Nobody will say that either. That the party was created not to come to power, as it should be for the party, but to retain the existing power, obtained in the course of the redistribution of power and property? This is generally a forbidden topic, and I also do not discuss it.

“SP”: – Why did the ministers come into play? Are athletes and singers no longer attracting the electorate?

– Even the most active “people’s experts” – taxi drivers – are already saying: “Well, what are the singers, wrestlers and swimmers doing there? Are they smarter than engineers, diplomats, military men? “

It seems to me that the organizers of political technology support made several serious mistakes during the preparation, which they are now feverishly trying to correct. They have heaped up a bunch of electoral technologies.

First, parties (electoral associations) began to form – spoilers. The programs were very similar: for all the good versus all the bad. Well, what else can you say if the goal is not the one declared?

Secondly, seeing the wretchedness of the “fresh political forces”, they decided to nominate formally non-party candidates. But since those were clearly nomenklatura citizens, the party ears stick out, as they say, from the very waist.

Thirdly, the good old administrative resource has not gone anywhere: “gifts” to voters, reports of success (naturally, outside the time allotted for campaigning) … And all this is done so rudely that one is amazed. Complete disqualification of election headquarters.

“SP”: – Will Shoigu, Lavrov and others help? Everyone understands that they will take the mandate in favor of someone unknown …

– Not everyone understands this. The man in the street has a short memory. Emotions work in the election process, but understanding is different, it will come later.

– The party “United Russia” very responsibly approached the compilation of the federal list, – I’m sure political scientist Anna Ochkina

– It is interesting that there are no current State Duma deputies in it, as in the lists of other parties, but there are two ministers (the most popular or least unpopular, as you like) – Sergei Shoigu and Sergei Lavrov, two women social activists and one doctor. Denis Protsenko, the head physician of the famous hospital in Kommunarka, according to the Kommersant newspaper, is “a symbol of the fight against the coronavirus epidemic in Russia.”

Fifth on the list, Anna Kuznetsova is young and attractive, the wife of a priest and mother of seven children, and a defender of children’s rights.

Number 4 – Elena Shmeleva – ONF co-chair, head of the Talent and Success Foundation.

In other words, the United Russia list includes caring for children, and the indifference of civil society, and valiant victories with the epidemic, and successes in domestic politics, and the country’s defense. Well, at least the accepted symbols of it all. Here is such a powerful “train”.

How strange it is that the party, which we call the ruling party for a reason, does not nominate on the federal list those who have been deciding the fate of the country on its behalf for five years, passing laws on raising the retirement age, garbage reform, “foreign agents” and so on. The creators of such laws will, I think, go to the State Duma anyway, hiding behind the names of those who have not yet fully lost the people’s trust. Or at least not connected in the minds of the masses with unpopular laws.

The EP made a good list in our poor time for idols. Yes, only five years will fly by too quickly to create new idols, and not fast enough so that the new Duma does not have time to spoil the reputation of these.

“SP”: – Why did you decide to move Shoigu and Lavrov? Are the usual “locomotives” not pulling out anymore?

– Traditional “steam locomotives” have ceased to be traditional. There are already very few unconditionally respected athletes and artists. “Thank you” to all kinds of talk shows with scandals and revelations.

Sergei Shoigu, I think, will come in handy for the next list, if there are no radical changes in the next five years. And Lavrov, probably with Anna Kuznetsova.

They will also select public figures, benefactors, doctors. Maybe astronauts. But there are few unconditional trump cards. We have a lot of celebrities, but there are few national idols. If they exist at all. But the Kremlin has an “administrative resource”. And it helps to create idols, and to hold elections.

Nikolai Volkov, Secretary of the Moscow City Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation believes that Shoigu’s statement shows his desire to justify his role in these elections.

– This is a very indicative moment – even top officials prefer not to unambiguously associate themselves with United Russia. At the lower levels, this is even more felt.

A simple example. The other day I took part in a televised debate where there were representatives of six different parties. None defended the ruling party’s policies. All participants to a greater or lesser extent criticized the current government. In 2021, this is the norm not only for “talking in kitchens” or speeches at opposition rallies, today it is already the norm for debates on state television.

As we remember, in the previous elections, Putin himself headed the list of United Russia. Now he did not undertake this mission, which is “deadly” for the image of any politician. I believe that a number of factors can still keep United Russia afloat for 2-3 years.

These are sophisticated political technologies, the active use of spoiler politicians who disorient the protest electorate, systematic work to disintegrate opposition parties from the inside, which is carried out by representatives of various services, these are expensive leading propagandists and, in the end, these are technologies for distorting the result during multi-day voting. All this will allow the ruling party to delay its collapse for several years, but will in no way allow it to avoid the inevitable.

Historical experience shows that when deep internal contradictions accumulate in any political system, then if the system is not ready to resolve the essence of these contradictions, no successes in other areas, no shine of uniforms or armor of tanks will save such a system.

In modern Russia, there are severe contradictions between the desire of the people to live in a social state (and these desires are supported by the corresponding chapters of the Constitution) and the real policy of the authorities to indulge the oligarchs, the growth of property and social stratification. Between the desire of the Russian elite to build a “country for themselves” and to be patriots of this country and their inability to build anything without the massive support of the people. And without a welfare state, this support of the people will not exist.

The attitude of the Russian elites to their prehistory is also contradictory. They are already forced to admit the criminal nature of privatization, the merits of the USSR. The same Shoigu, in order to gain a rating, is looking for ways to develop our country in the construction of industrial and scientific centers in Siberia, i.e. does not hesitate to promote the Soviet experience. But at the same time, the government continues its ridiculous attempts at decommunization, distorts the historical role Lenin and the Great October Socialist Revolution, puts pressure on candidates from the Communist Party in the elections, tries to rehabilitate Kolchak, then Krasnova, opened “Yeltsin-Centre”.

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