“Russia means Putin and Putin means Russia”.
Not only the Russian President’s office, the Kremlin’s deputy chief of staff but also the millions of Russian citizens who have repeatedly trusted Putin in elections over the years. People want to see Putin either as the President of the country or as the Prime Minister.
On July this confidence will be cemented once more when a referendum will be held on a proposal to change the Russian Constitution. After this amendment of the constitution, Putin will be able to contest for the post of President twice more. The term of the President in Russia is six years.
The current tenure of 67-year-old Putin is ending in 2024 and even after this, he has not ruled out the possibility of contesting the presidential election. If he contests the election twice more, he will remain the President of the country till 2036.
A referendum is scheduled to be held in the country on Wednesday, a day after the 75th Victory Parade in Moscow’s Red Square. Every year Russia celebrates the anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War.
On this day a grand military parade is organized in which Russia demonstrates its military prowess. The parade is officially held every year on May 9, but due to the corona epidemic this year, it was decided to hold it after two months.
Why is referendum being held ?
In January this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed to make an important change in the constitution of the country.
Votes will be cast across the country on the proposals putin by Putin. Through this, the power of power will be more with the Parliament than the President and they will be able to contest elections for two more terms of six years.
This referendum was to be held on April 22 this year, but due to the lockdown imposed due to Corona virus, its date was reversed. Now this referendum has to be held on July 1.
During this time, new rules have been made to follow social distancing and this entire process will be completed in five days instead of one day. Due to Corona, a referendum will be held in the areas where strict arrangements are currently in place.
What is Putin’s plan?
One name that has emerged as a big leader in 21st century Russia is Vladimir Putin.
In the year 1999, he was appointed to the post of Prime Minister. After this, from 2000 to 2008, he was elected to the post of President. After this, he again became the Prime Minister of the country from 2008 to 2012 and since 2012 has remained the biggest face of the country as President.
Putin has not yet said that he will stand again in the elections after the end of this term, but he has not even denied it yet. That is why his critics believe that the constitutional amendment has cemented his chances of staying in power forever or at least till 2036.
His staunch supporter and Russian MP Valentina Tereshkova believes that Putin should remain the country’s president for a long time.
Putin also enjoys the support of citizens on a large scale. In the 2018 elections, Putin strengthened his position by securing more than 76 percent of the vote.
BBC Moscow correspondent Sarah Rainsford says that this time it was “Putin’s attempt to prove that the demand for constitutional amendment is for the public and not for power”.
Putin once pointed out that Russia had not yet developed enough to change the president.
Sarah Rainsford says, “Many people like Putin and he is accepted by Putin’s leadership. Many see him as a strong leader who is capable of challenging the West. There is also talk in the country that right now They have no choice. “
How did Putin become a need for power?
On the one hand, the ongoing cold war between Russia and Western countries was on the verge of ending, on the other hand, luck was pulling Vladimir Putin towards the streets of power.
During the 1989 revolution, Putin was stationed in Dresden as an agent of the Russian intelligence agency KGB. This place was in that part of Germany which was then known as Communist East Germany.
During this time there were large-scale protests. The Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain were toppled by the protesters. At the same time, the Soviet Union was also disintegrating, due to which, due to lack of leadership in the corridors of power in Russia, a kind of vacancy was started. The young Putin, who was keeping a close watch on this whole matter, was getting a sense of the power of the public.
Putin has described in detail the incident of December 1989 when KBG’s headquarters in Dresdn was engulfed by hell and approached Moscow and requested for help. Putin reported that former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev “did not react” during that time.
In the book ‘First Person’, based on his interview, Putin said that he started burning reports in the headquarters and “he burnt so much reports that the furnace itself exploded.”
“If Putin had never been to East Germany, we would probably have seen a different Putin and a different Russia today,” says Boris Reitschuster, a German citizen who wrote Putin’s biography.
Putin’s powerful to contain
After returning to his home Leningard (old St. Petersburg), Putin became an important friend of the new mayor, Atoli Sobchak.
In East Germany, Putin had been part of the network that was now politically advanced in Russia. Putin’s career was also progressing at a fast pace.
Putin moved to Moscow and joined FSB. Here he was now working for Kremilan. At that time Boris Yeltsin was the President of the Russian Federation.
One of Yeltsin’s special supporters was businessman Boris Bereziewski. It is believed that he was capable of influencing the thinking of people during elections.
Former journalist Valentin Yumashev (later an officer in the Russian government) was one of Boris Yeltsin’s most trusted allies. He was married to Yeltsin’s daughter Tatyana.
As the Chief of Staff of Yeltsin in 1997, it was he who first offered Putin to work in the Kremlin.
In August 1999, Boris Yeltsin appointed Vladimir Putin as Prime Minister. This was a clear indication that President Yeltsin was preparing Putin to lead the Kremlin.
Putin also had the support of Boris Bereziewski.
New president of the country
Yeltsin had just one year to leave. But in December 1999, he suddenly announced his resignation.
Neither the leaders nor the business class objected in the name of the new president. Everyone was happy with Putin suddenly emerging in the arena of politics.
But within three months of coming to power, he took control of the media from Putin and it is believed that after this, the Kremlin’s old supporting business class got away from politics.
In a way, the way Putin worked was also clear after this.
The media had its two advantages in capturing itself, first that it was now easier to suppress the voice of its powerful opponents and secondly to strengthen the narrative of news reaching people (from the war of Chechnya to the Moscow terror attacks). Was possible.
It also had an impact on the popularity of the President and with time he became the image of a powerful leader of the new Russia.
From then on it can be said that Russian citizens see only what the President wishes.
There are about 3,000 television channels in Russia but most of them do not show the news, if any channel gives any news related to politics then they have to ask the government for this.
Message to the provinces: ‘Better not get confused’
Putin gradually took control of 83 regions of Russia by appointing his trusted leaders as governor.
He canceled the provincial elections for governors in 2004 and prepared a list of names of three candidates for regional legislators for appointment as their next governors.
Putin’s critics accused him of ‘killing democracy’ but his strategy benefited him in areas such as Chechnya.
Provincial elections were held in 2012 after pro-democracy protests, but once again in April 2013, these states came directly under Putin’s control and new restrictive laws were restored.
Between 2011 and 2013, there were protests in several areas of Russia, including Moscow, demanding comprehensive reform in elections. They are also called Bolotnaya protests. These were the biggest protests in the country since the 90s.
At the same time, protests like the Arab Spring were taking place in the Middle East. Putin believed that through such protests, western countries could set foot in Russia.
Seeing the wind of big change in many countries, Putin also changed his way of working and he started adopting the right, liberal policies for a short time. He talked of political decentralization and promised all the provinces that they would get more control over their economy.
During this period, his speech saw considerable use of the word “reform”. But as soon as this risk was averted from the global stage, this strategy was also put on full stop.
Demonstrated power by winning Crimea
After the revolution, there was a kind of emptiness in the power of Ukraine, which gave Putin an important opportunity to sit. In February 2014, he swiftly took over Crimea, one of his biggest wins so far. This was a major setback for the West.
Russia, demonstrating its power, captured a part of the neighboring country and the whole world could not do anything to stop it.
Local analysts believe that Putin understood that Russia did not have to become a superpower in order to function in its own way (during the Cold War days it was believed that Russia should become a superpower).
Putin had become so powerful that he could redefine Russia’s relations with Western countries and Neto and take the lead.
Took full advantage of the weakness of western countries
Putin also took full advantage of the lack of participation and weaknesses among foreign countries on foreign affairs.
He sided with President Bashar al-Assad in Syria against the Western nations and advanced in alliance with the Syrian Army. His footsteps benefited him in many ways.
First of all, it has decided that no one country will have complete control in the Syrian politics necessary for stability in the Middle East. Along with this, he also got the opportunity to work on his weapons and military strategy.
Another important thing from this was that apart from the Assad dynasty, there was a message to his other friends in the Middle East that Russia never leaves the hands of its old allies.
So will Putin become the new Russian Tsar?
During his rule, Putin has proved the feudal concept “bringing together Russian land” to justify Russia’s policy of expansion.
In view of this, it can be understood that small areas adjacent to Crimea and Russia are very important for Putin.
Arkady Ostrovsky, who keeps an eye on Russian politics, believes that the current time and events seem like clearing the way for a modern tsar to be created. He says that a different leader has been born in Russian politics who is far above party politics.
The thing to note is that in the last presidential elections, Putin had fielded as an independent candidate.
In the current era, Putin is in a place in Russia from where no one can shake him, but what happens after the completion of his fourth term in 2024 is difficult to say.
No one can say what the future will be, but there is no denying that Putin can plan it.