“The most faithful successor to Putin will turn on him”: interview with Russian political scientist

Dmitry Oreshkin told how Putin’s rating is falling, why did world leaders ignore the Victory parade in Moscow and to the Russian voting are Russians

The implementation plan of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin and the amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation enter into the final stage. Despite the difficult epidemiological situation in the country, Russian authorities took the decision to hold so-called “popular vote” on the issue of constitutional reform on 1 July.


The vote will be preceded by another mass event – the Victory parade in honor of the 75th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany. To hold a parade may 9, the Russian authorities have prevented the epidemic of the coronavirus. Although today it is difficult to say that the country won the epidemic, the parade decided to hold. It will take place on Wednesday, June 24.

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About the Constitution, the new terms of Putin, parade and many other site “Today” spoke with Russian political analyst Dmitry Oreshkin.

“One of the major leaders of the parade will not come”

– Dmitry Borisovich, very soon in Moscow will be postponed because of the epidemic the Victory parade. Today the situation with coronavirus if better, not by much. Why the Kremlin has decided to hold it?


– The answer is simple: because of July 1, will be another postponed event, a nationwide vote on amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation. The parade and voting, of course, absolutely inseparable phenomena. The parade is intended to demonstrate that we came from coronavirus epidemic that everything is fine and that means we need to go to vote.

The rush I don’t know about most, but many, even supporters of Putin is quite reasonable questions. Do we have enemy at the gates?! Why we have this parade it is necessary to do on June 24? Why not November 7? This is a historic date when the parade on red square in 1941, the shelves were to defend Moscow…

The mayor of Moscow, Sobyanin has advised Muscovites to watch the parade on TV. For reasons of security. Well, really, a feeling that was hot. What you just have to go to the parade. And, of course, analysts know that the parade is a prelude to a vote. Therefore with it so hurry: voting until the autumn should not be delayed. And that creates a feeling of a bad history. The parade is not to, say, commemorate the fallen, to honor the Victory itself. And to achieve their political goals. Simply however, under the ballot, however, very frankly. And it’s not very nice…

– There were versions that Putin parade is also required to try to “unblock” the regime’s international isolation. It is for this he invites the world’s leaders, making efforts to a significant figure.

– It is also one of the goals. And it is also not very nice. Because we understand that none of the large-scale leaders of the parade will not come. And in a sense this is called discrediting such thing as a parade. Putin wanted to create something that is pathetic. And it does not work. As far as we know at the moment agreed to come half a dozen leaders. It’s mostly CIS plus Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the same list. Entirely dependent and on the contents of Putin the head of the unrecognized state will come. A large-scale, world leaders, no.


So, anyway, here are half a dozen people not of the caliber do not create the feeling of “all flags will come to us.” There is no feeling. Maybe if the parade was moved to the fall, would come more leaders. But no need to now as soon as possible.

“Nationwide voting works on the principle “nod to TV”

– Why decided to hold that vote, not a referendum?

– The fact that the referendum is very clearly spelled out in the Russian legislation the procedure. There three months are given for discussion, is very clear on issues the commissions for the referendum and so on. But most importantly – the referendum may be imposed only one question, one quibble. But Putin puts a few dozen of these amendments. Then you and the inviolability of frontiers, and historical memory, and the indexation of pensions, and the Russian language as the state, which in the Constitution he has never been. And, of course, especially for Vladimir Putin – the nullification of presidential terms. All of this collected together in one question: do you support these amendments or not? And if I half supported and half not?

Now, the legislation on the referendum simply would not allow to crank. We must hurry, the law States three months to prepare. Need to hide among pensions zeroing time. And the law says: every amendment vote separately. Because of this, and came up with this vote. Even where protocols other maximally simplified. Which do not know how many people voted early, how many remotely. Only the number of voters and the result. That is, summing up: the referendum is very clearly spelled out procedure, very formalized. There is a step left, step right – is a violation. And a nationwide vote, as we do here, just kidding, works on the principle “nod to the TV.”

“We need to hurry, in the eyes of the people, Putin has ceased to be a “cool kid”

– Why the rush? Was not possible to wait until the epidemiological situation improves?


– Regarding urgency. I have this question the answer is: the rating falls. Falls every month. In connection with the coronavirus. In connection with the economic problems. Due to the fact that Putin looks bad. Due to the fact that he loses. All this talk about “Russian world” come to nothing. Ukraine from the “Russian world” is gone. And never in the past hundred years Ukraine so far were not from Moscow as it is now, under Putin. It’s not just a neighbor is good or not. And a hostile state with which the de facto undeclared war is smoldering. Ukraine goes to Europe with all all. A big Hello to the Russian Federation! And personally Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.

Belarus. Where is the Eurasian Union, where the “Russian world”? Economy. Where “Island of stability”, which Putin promised where is the doubling of GDP in 10 years, where the level of Portugal’s income per capita? Where base on the moon, which is the 20th year Rogozin promised to build? In General, people accumulate a misunderstanding. And more and more.

Because people are accustomed to something: Putin is so cool, who should be bent, who should be kicked. Under the States does not bend, Saakashvili was punished. Simple people like it. That is so cool we have a President. But it turns out that it is not so. Lukashenko sends it to the Ukrainians, in General, manage. And in the eyes of the people Putin has ceased to be the cool kid. Akela started to miss, he stopped partiti. And people have cognitive dissonance. A picture of the world begins to waver.

– It is confirmed by the polls or is it your personal observation?

In January, the Levada Center conducted a survey and asked citizens a “closed” question: “do You support Vladimir Putin”? The result is 68%. In February 69%. In March, 63% in April to 59%. Now, they say, support dropped even further. However, the results are not yet published. And, I warn you that this is a “closed” question, which involves only Putin. In the open – “What kind of Russian politicians you trust?” – Putin 28-30% of the power. But what is important is not so much the level but the dynamics of the trend. Confidence in Putin falls. Because until September to postpone the voting. So the parade should be done urgently.

Returning to the reasons for the rush. In addition to the main, there is still a low value, but also important things. The court of MH17 began. Already decided on Yukos. And need to hide behind. How to hide behind? Here you have the decision of the people: the supremacy of Russian law over international. Well, that is understandable: to build an “iron curtain”, to turn to the world of armored ass and play the role of the Latin American battleship. Another option some have and do. With Putin no one did not want to talk.

“Putin is caught in a trap”

And it is possible to cancel a nationwide vote? After all amendments to the Constitution, and so are already approved by the all possible branches, including the constitutional court?

– My subjective opinion: Putin and so from a legal point of view a very weak position with these amendments. Amendments “with the forest of pine”, a rather flimsy, mutually neuvazhayev. It looks quite liquid. And I think Putin was about this idea: let the weak liquid, but three quarters of people 75% or better 80% – supported, and all the will of the people, you go with their claims to the forest…

And, by the way, this idea was quite real. If the vote was held according to plan in April and everything would turn out exactly as planned by the Kremlin. But now, when the rating falls, Putin, of course, would prefer to refrain from voting. But it is not enough. Since the issue of the all-Russian vote on those changes “legalized” by the Constitutional court. The COP was a very interesting verdict, which consisted of two parts. The first is, in fact, a decision on the amendments. The COP, of course, wrote that the amendments are entirely consistent with the “spirit and letter” and so on. But the second part – on procedure. As these changes take effect. Here, the COP wrote, including that the amendments enter into force after the nationwide vote. That is, from a legal point of view to the amendments without a vote anymore. Does Putin fell into the trap. Though burst, and the vote lead.

“I could fail the vote”

– To predict the results of the voting?

– Well as it is possible to predict? Would be as needed. However, now began to say that we do not need two-thirds support, it is necessary that 55% of the turnout was. Well, you know, coronavirus, and so on… Well, and of them 60% will vote “for”.

Is a setup like that?

Is not to let down the top. But these figures were announced in the Kremlin, in principle, satisfactory. And it is clear that they perceived as the installation. Regional leaders – experienced people. As you can, and provide. Somewhere falsification, somewhere mobilization drive of the electorate. Somewhere and so people will support it. The state propaganda machine’s not quite so idle running, people are watching TV. 30 percent of the electorate, Putin is, that, they say, not take away.

– And unpleasant for the Kremlin, the surprise may be?

– Well of course! Now intelligentsia vehemently argues to go – not to go. Some calling for a boycott, others – to come and vote against it. And an ordinary person – he, of course, far from these complex discussions. He sits at home and watches TV. But besides that watching TV, still goes to work, shopping, communicating with friends. And he sees everything. He has a head on his shoulders, and he understands that the authorities are lying to him. And therefore without any complex discussions think: well, I won’t. Disgusting!

So basically the majority of those who potentially is opposed to Putin, the vote will ignore. And sorry to hear that ignore. Because if they came it could ruin the procedure. At least in Moscow and some regions to create “free zones from reset”.

But I as the analyst don’t think that the vote will fail. Just be low turnout, which is not hard to pull due to the controlled regions, “electoral sultanates”, where people do not vote, and the government. And how many votes have the power, so it will provide at least 120%.

“If Putin goes, he instantly steps up to take it all”

– After approval of the amendments to the Constitution of a possible early presidential election in Russia? I mean, this version also goes.

– I think Putin is simply not even thought of. You know, he used to have a few different options for any occasion. But now he is in such a narrow corridor of possibilities, it is so important, “though the carcass, though the Scarecrow” through this here the popular vote, which, I think, he is still no further plans. But then, when he’s going through “the eye of a needle” vote, he will think. How much it will cost. How much prestige, honor, respect he will lose in this process, the “popular vote”. If you find that everything is under control, the elite give him the result will be considered one option. If not, another. Don’t know, does he dare so just rush from one very doubtful process in the other elections. Honestly, I just don’t know, is it profitable to him to expedite the process.

To leave he can’t, either: as soon as he leaves, he becomes weak and helpless. And it immediately why not just hung. Instantly steps up to take it all. And anyone – successor, not the successor. Even the most close and loyal successor to Putin will turn on him. And Putin understands this. That’s basically what this parade and this vote. The only person in the country who need them, and that is Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. And people understand it. They are not up to a vote. They would now be money somewhere to find work, the virus is not to catch, God forbid.