Jun 29, 2017 | 11:02 GMT
For Russia, Putin Power Is Losing Some of Its Shine
The message from the Kremlin is clear: Putin is a strong leader and a man of the people. But the message is beginning to sound stale, and a reckoning may be peeking above the horizon.(NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images)


It can be difficult to separate the important from unimportant on any given day. Reflections mean to do exactly that — by thinking about what happened today, we can consider what might happen tomorrow. Despite a show of strength and a charm offensive, Russian President Vladimir Putin's government is beginning to show its age. Russia is facing a dangerous protest movement against Putin's system, and he has responded with heavy-handed crackdowns and winsome public appearances. The message from the Kremlin is clear: Putin is a strong leader and a man of the people. But the message is beginning to sound stale, and a reckoning may be peeking above the horizon. 

charm offensive:人気取り作戦
show its age:年を感じさせる

Even before his rise to power, Putin and his elites had been shaping the story behind the Russian leader. In that narrative, while under President Boris Yeltsin, Putin pushed out an unruly pack of diverse politicians to be the man to stabilize a country in chaos. As the first head of the Federal Security Service and then prime minister, Putin reined in dissident regions, and with a troop surge, he quelled insurgency in the Caucasus. Leapfrogging into the presidency in 2000, he consolidated power by ousting noncompliant oligarchs and reclaiming strategic and lucrative assets for the state. 

troop surge:急増
noncompliant :言いなりにならない

Putin began rebuilding and reorganizing the military and security services, transforming them into key tools and decision-makers. He purged the political system of disloyal parties and politicians. Overall, during Putin's first term as president, Russia emerged as a stronger and more stable country, and his esteem rose in the eyes of the people. The Kremlin's message was clear: Putin had saved Russia. 


Now, backed by a system he created and the support of the vast majority of the people, Putin began flexing Russia's muscle internationally. In 2006 he cut off energy to Ukraine and Europe. In 2007, Putin gave an aggressive speech at the Munich Security Conference in Germany, condemning U.S. global dominance and its "hyper use of force." Soon after, Russia pulled out of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, and the next year, Russia invaded Georgia. The Kremlin was sending the message that Putin had restored Russia's power and standing in the world. 

Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces:ヨーロッパ通常戦力条約は、欧州各国が核兵器以外の通常戦力の削減について締結した条約。通称CFE条約。

But Russia's return to the global stage was met with strong pushback from the West and many former Soviet states. The West countered by meddling in Russia; uprisings and conflicts spread in Ukraine; the United States and the European Union imposed sanctions; and NATO built up its forces on Russia's borderlands. The Kremlin promoted several nationalist and patriotic messages in response, rallying the Russian people behind Putin, who was seen as defending the motherland. This patriotism culminated in Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.


The Message Wears Thin
Now the narrative has started to crumble, as the Kremlin and Putin are faced with many crises. As the West piled on economic pressure, Russia fell into a recession because of low oil prices. Russian elites believe they are suffering with less wealth and fewer opportunities for conspicuous consumption to splash around. A shrinking pie has led to power grabs and struggles for money and assets, putting Putin in a dangerous position with his loyalists as he picks who succeeds or survives. And the recession affected the Russian people more than the state and its elites. Unemployment and the nonpayment of salaries are rising, as is the poverty rate. With countersanctions, the cost of food has skyrocketed. Most average and low-income Russians spend half their income on meals. 

splash :大きく取り上げられる

During previous economic and social crises under Putin, the Kremlin urged the country to remember the turmoil of the 1990s under Yeltsin — a frightening prospect to Russians — and to see that the latest crisis wasn't that bad. But the message may have run its course because Russia has seen a generational turnover. About one-fourth of Russians were born after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and those entering their teens and early 20s have only known Putin as their leader. The memories of the chaotic 1990s and the idea of Putin as savior are beginning to fade. 


While the old narrative sounds hollow to much of this new generation, most of these young people are not anti-Putin, or wildly liberal, but they do want a diverse, responsive political system. Opposition leader Alexei Navalny has capitalized on the burgeoning and disgruntled youth movement with a message of anti-corruption — an umbrella cause that encapsulates reforming the political structures, cleaning up the government, providing economic support and making the electoral system legitimate. Navalny is creating a platform to rally this new generation, who were drawn by the tens of thousands to join protests on June 12 in about 150 cities. Most of the demonstrators were young people stirred up by social media, which the Kremlin has struggled to control.


プーチンがエリツィンに変わって、国家を大改革したことを若い人たちは知らない。彼らは今のロシアの経済の低迷に不満を持っている。失業、物価高が彼らに対して、政府への抗議活動へと導いてきた。Alexei Navalnyがそのリーダーだが、6月12日に150都市で、デモを行った。プーチンは彼らを鎮圧したが、その問題の根源は依然として残ったままだ。


swingby_blog at 20:09コメント(0) 


  情報を記憶: 評価:  顔   星



海野 恵一



Swingby 最新イベント情報
海野塾のイベントはFacebookのTeamSwingbyを参照ください。 またスウィングバイは以下のところに引っ越しました。 スウィングバイ株式会社 〒108-0023 東京都港区芝浦4丁目2−22東京ベイビュウ803号 Tel: 080-9558-4352 Fax: 03-3452-6690 E-mail: clyde.unno@swingby.jp Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clyde.unno 海野塾: https://www.facebook.com TeamSwingby

Recent Comments
  • 今日:
  • 累計:


社長ブログ ブログランキングへ