On March 18, Putin will be re-elected as president of Russia for the fourth time. The story, however, does not end here. While it is reasonable to expect that there won’t be a new President, the upcoming election is far from unimportant. Putin needs more than just the majority if he wants to retain his legitimacy and, ultimately, power.
In the recent episode of The Power Vertical podcast, Journalist Brian Whitmore and his guests discuss the specificities of this “election that isn’t”: the ambiguous role of widespread apathy, the importance of turnout over actual vote, the means and limits of political engineering, and the possible tactics of the opposition.
Note: The podcast assumes some prior knowledge of Russian politics. If not familiar with either of the following, a quick search is recommended: Putin-Medvedev swap, United Russia, Alexei Navalny, Xenia Sobchak.
By Isabel Seeger