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Aug 30, 2021
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Uncle Misha the Governor welcomes you guys

Uncle Misha the Governor welcomes you guys

Photo: Stanislav Krasilnikov / TASS

There is another scandal in the Khabarovsk Territory. Not as strong as after the arrest of the former governor Sergei Furgalbut also ugly. School libraries in the region received textbooks with a photograph of the acting governor of the region Mikhail Degtyarev under the cover itself, on the first page. His address to children is printed next to it.

Far Eastern literature reader is intended for study in primary grades. The appeal is clearly directed not so much to the kids as to their caring parents, who will put their own people to do their homework, and, perhaps, will read something themselves, with surprise noticing the face of Mikhail Vladimirovich, with the shadow of a slight smile from Mona Lisa.

In circulation – nothing special, not a binomial Newton… About the long-awaited day, September 1, about the fact that there are wise teachers in schools. It is difficult to say whether the teachers themselves will like such coarse flattery, when very soon the teachers will have to show their wisdom.

Although, there is no need to be wise: Mikhail Vladimirovich is participating in the governor elections, which will be held on a single voting day on September 19, simultaneously with the elections to the State Duma. On June 17, he met with the President via videoconference Vladimir Putin, in which a young energetic politician announced his huge plans and his decision to fight for the governor’s post without the prefix of acting. The incumbent president wished him luck.

True, there are five more candidates for the position of the Khabarovsk governor. Yes, and last year’s weekly protest actions of the Khabarovsk residents against the arrival of the capital’s appointee to the place of the arrested Furgal have not been forgotten. In the end, pickets and rallies were extinguished with considerable administrative efforts and financial handouts, but the coals are still smoldering.

So in such an environment, any means will do. Even the frankly ridiculous use of Degtyarev’s image on the pages of educational literature.

The question, however, is how to assess the appearance of this kind of appeal and a photo of an official on the pages of a print publication. If this is a pre-election campaign, then according to the law, the printing of textbooks must be paid for from the electoral fund of the candidate, about which the appropriate marking must be made in the imprint of the publication. But this is not in the tutorial. Apparently, the political strategists decided that it would work anyway, and the appeal was not from a candidate, but “just from acting. heads of the region “…

In the photo: a page from the Far Eastern literature reader "Lukoshko", 2021.
In the photo: a page from the Far Eastern literature reader “Lukoshko”, 2021.

Though President of the Russian Association for Public Relations, Director of the Center for Research of Political Elites, IMI Evgeny Minchenko believes that the picture in the textbook will not bring big electoral dividends:

– The scandal is small and not the first. A similar story with the governor Oleg Kozhemyako in the Primorsky Territory, which was also inserted into some books.

“SP”: – What is it, Zhirinovsky is desperately fighting for the Khabarovsk Territory? Sergey Furgal was also officially his man …

– I believe that it is not Zhirinovsky who is fighting, but the Kremlin. Degtyarev is not a man of Zhirinovsky, but of the Kremlin. There was a special operation to replace Furgal, and it is for the Kremlin that it is important to conduct its candidate. The Liberal Democratic Party left its man in Khabarovsk, but the situation with Furgal is not linear. In the province, it obviously led to a drop in the ratings of the Liberal Democratic Party.

“SP”: – Will there be a protest vote in the region?

– Candidates are all filtered. There are no real opponents. A coordinated will is needed to vote for one opposition representative. Plus a very important point – it is necessary to monitor the sites. The question is: who will be the subject of this observation? I think the chances of a consolidated vote supported by a counting control are slim …

Yes, on the one hand, not so many textbooks have been published, only some 17.5 thousand copies. But on the other hand, it is not so bad for the pre-election campaign: both school librarians, teachers, and parents of elementary school students with grandparents will be covered. Textbooks should be distributed to children at the beginning of September, which means – by the very elections. Previously, there was nothing like that, local politicians behaved more modestly, grumble the Khabarovsk residents.

But Mikhail Degtyarev is still only Acting Governor of the Khabarovsk Territory. The people did not vote for him. When the former head of the region, Sergei Furgal, was arrested in the summer of 2020, many wondered: really for old sins? He was accused of organizing the murders of entrepreneurs a decade and a half ago. Either there were these crimes, or they were not, but the people liked Furgal. Maybe he worked out the mistakes of his youth? For the edge and people, they say, I tried. In Khabarovsk, after his arrest, protests began, which lasted several months. The people demanded a trial in Khabarovsk, called for the resignation of the current government, including Degtyarev.

Therefore, the AIM is considered “not the most successful candidate for the Kremlin.” Although it is strange: he is not a member of the ruling party, but a nominee in the line of any opposition, the Liberal Democratic Party, in which Furgal was also listed. Maybe in the presidential administration and in the embassy they would like to find a new candidate, but, like Diogenes, they will have to go and look for a person with fire during the day. Here Vladimir Volfovich insisted – do not wash this way: one was arrested, you want to put one of your own, it will not work, let’s get ours again!

TV presenter and public figure, member of the Presidential Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights Maxim Shevchenko, believes that one should not “make an elephant out of a fly”:

– A textbook with a portrait is not that essential. I don’t see any election campaigning there. Or is it written for the Liberal Democratic Party? He is acting on behalf of the President. The problem is not that, but that the Khabarovsk Territory was cleared for it. But even in this case, he can lose “his own shadow”. After all, the region hates Degtyarev and considers him sent from Moscow to some kind of “Gauleiter”. But the inhabitants of the region have the right to decide for themselves who suits them, even if they are mistaken, this is their choice. I stand for democratic principles of power formation …

It is unlikely that a column “against all” will appear in the Khabarovsk elections. Then Degtyarev’s anti-rating may come into play. Rumor has it that according to opinion polls, the rating of support for the VRIO is now thirty percent, and not supported by more than half of the inhabitants of the region. You can also wind up voices, but no one wants to do this for a long time, somehow it is disgusting and disgusting.

Vasily Koltashov, Head of the Center for Political Science Research of the Institute of the New Society believes that a photo of a leader in a book is part of a general trend:

– In general, portraits of governors, ministers of education, ministers of culture, ministers of sports in sports institutions hang in schools in many regions. You can call it a “movement to the people.” The authorities are trying to become recognizable. In some cases, this is intended to win votes. But all the same, in general, it seems to me, the governors, in this case “acting temporarily”, are trying to show that they are for a long time. In the case of Dyagtyarev, this story should not cause any particular surprise, or perhaps irritation, because this is a standard approach.

The bandits do not abandon their own. Furgal has many friends. He positioned himself as a person who negotiates with Putin, but at the same time – is such a Far Eastern … “separatist” or something, who rules himself. “Master of the Region”. Maybe he didn’t need to print his physiognomy on textbooks. Simply because it largely reflected these sentiments of some citizens, which are very dangerous for Russia as a whole. The mood, caused by the way the abandonment of the region, which has been deprived of attention from the center for many years. Diagtyarev is trying to solve this problem, including through his presence in textbooks. If the words are printed there interesting, like the thoughts of Socrates, or Aristotle, then it would be worth it.

“SP”: – No, these are the most ordinary words that are clear to first graders, but they are very correct, you won’t find fault.

– So it was done according to the marketing formula. The main consumer in the economy is children and adolescents. Parents buy for children. Perhaps this formula will work in politics as well. If the children like it, the parents will say: why not.

In general, Degtyarev tries very hard there. In general, the results are positive. It’s not even about his opponents in the elections, but about how the Center treats you. And the Center clearly wants the region to have a non-separatist leader who would also appeal to local residents.

What was closed for Furgal as for a person whom they did not believe in Moscow, did not trust, then becomes possible for Degtyarev. Ultimately, it is very beneficial for Khabarovsk residents. I think that Degtyarev will remain in charge of the region, especially since he is from the same party …

Everything is so, but the Khabarovsk citizens are nevertheless decided to bend at a high level. Show who’s boss. Although, of course, they will work with the candidate. The candidate, of course, is strange, since he was still born, he never gained more than one to five percent, although he was nominated in different regions several times, in his native Samara and a couple of times in Moscow. For some reason, his fellow countrymen loved him the least.

But now PR people and image makers are probably working with him, give recommendations, change the arrogant style of communication and manner, people do not like this, especially in the Far East. Now he talks less about the president and the plenipotentiary in the district, and more insists on the desire to work in the region and help people. And also about personal and family life, hobbies. The man is he is tall, athletic, handsome. Maybe, thanks to external data, something will work out.

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