An overwhelming majority of the Russian population voted for constitutional reforms by allowing President Vladimir Putin to extend his tenure till 2036 as there had been little doubt of voters backing the changes as the divided opposition failed to mount any serious challenge. Many pensioners were delighted on hearing about the hike in their pensions apart from justifying their push back to social hierarchy and conservatism by tending to pose their belief in the continuance of age-old cultural and traditional practices.
The reforms include conservative and populist measures like guaranteed minimum pensions, enshrining faith in god, restricting top officials from holding dual citizenship and an effective ban on gay marriage thus setting Putin’s hold, control and command over his oligarchy. Believing that the amendments through reforms were stepped in the right direction giving legitimacy to the rule of law, order, stability, security and safety in the wake of global Corona pandemic allowing the political elite of Russia to focus on governance rather than hunting for possible successors.
Top Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny slammed the election outcome as a planned finale meant to create confusion and chaos in the minds of the people by manufacturing their views and opinions attempted by Putin for the continuance of his premiership. This broadly renewed his political vigour and vitality with which he would like to start afresh by ensuring a tectonic shift in the conduct of policy management and maintenance of foreign policy relations. And this would largely benefit Putin’s power purchase to dialogue and deliberate as illustrated in Russia’s posturing and engagements with the global world powers duly emphasized in her clout as a dominant hegemon with abled physical prowess and might.
Recently, India struck a deal with Russia approving the purchase of 33 Russian fighter jets including 12 Su-30MKIs and 21 MIG-29s and upgrades to another 59 planes, along with the purchase of air to air missiles developed indigenously adding to the strike capability of the air force.
This was followed by the visit of Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh where he urged Russia in speeding up with the delivery of S-400 squadrons as promised earlier by Russia. The immediate trigger was our hostile equations with China adding to the buildup of the Chinese troops in the Ladakh region as Chinese adventurism adding to the casualties of our twenty armed soldiers in the Galwan valley.
Russia did come to our rescue by asking China to practice restraint as both China and Russia are guided by Communist regimes backed by constitutional reforms and mechanisms to rule until and up till they would want. Diffusing crisis situations when needed through the way of dialogue and consultations between different set of players. However, there have been incidences of Russian interference and meddling in the 2016 US Presidential Elections as Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton was accused of sabotaging the elections in favour of Republican candidate Trump.
These charges were although refuted by both Putin and Trump. It was made known how Russia influenced the American electorate by employing the techniques and tactics of hacking the social media profile of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton ensuring a slugfest. Putin has a great political managerial and persuading ability through which he derives legitimacy to rule and govern the Russian people and society.
A deep disregard flows for Putin’s opponents and detractors in the face of persecutions of activists, the assassination of opposition leaders and curtailing for press freedom as Russia under Putin continues to fare poorly on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, The Economist Intelligence Units Democracy Index and Freedom Houses Freedom in the World Index.
Elaborating the basis of how authoritarianism and autocracy are deeply embedded and etched in the political system and culture of Russia, deeply influencing and impacting the social and political roles and responsibilities of the ordinary people, thus periling the conception of democracy to the margins. It presents us with an overview and analysis of Russia’s resurgence and transition under Putin’s regime and leadership.