The Ways Of Vladimir Putin
Most satisfied in Russia: Vladimir Putin reigns high in the popularity stakes
As a leader, Vladimir Putin during the years of the new millennium can be briefly described as a Russian figure, who protected doors to some of the most powerful national industries, such as the media, oil and gas. In those days, Putin was also someone who was always at the right place, at the right time: from turning up at a bombing site in Moscow in 1999, which painted his image as a dependable political figure - as the rescuer of Russians, to acting as a somewhat accessible leader - to (ordinary) Russians, by having state television stations carry the President’s communication points.
In fact, that is just what helps to connect with a Russian President: after all, what can be better than Putin always projecting himself as a serviceman to the Russian public, when the Kremlin runs to his command? And this image of his, has somehow survived through controversial political decisions, such as constant oppression of social liberals, NGOs, the slicing of Crimea (which actually made him appear as a more favourable leader, to Russians), and opposition in politics. There is no hope of finding a local media wagon that doesn’t sing praises of Putin because that entity is already caged, and recently, Putin has also been able to have boyars at his beck and call — this is alongside garnering backing of the country’s elite, and running the economy with support from progressive technocrats, as well as running the whole country with support from one-time KGB officers.
Having been a leader who echoes Russia’s varied history of past leaderships, expectations certainly do bounce off Putin that he does more than hover between impressing the elite and the public, at the expense of both, since both groups do tend to be at each others’ tails. For the moment, meanwhile, there is certainly great solace in seeing Russia evolve for the better: NGOs in Russia, for example, have seen an increase in yearly presidential grants since last five years, even though a newly introduced law aims to quiet those critical of the Kremlin’s human rights performances. So, taking the initiative towards switching from foreign to local funding should be easier— there clearly is no reason to have funding come in from outside resources and fueling local NGOs.