Putin’s Twelve Friends
Translated by Russian by J.Hawk
On Monday, VTsIOM presented evidence that the majority of
Russians are confident in the professionalism of the Russian president’s team.
The poll results indicate that the overwhelming majority of respondents—93%–believe
that Putin has a team on which he can rely. One third (37%) moreover believes
that the team consists predominantly of professionals, while another third
(37%) believes that it consists mainly of people who share Putin’s views. Only
13% believe that the President assembled around himself only close
acquaintances and friends, and such views are most widespread among supporters
of parties which are not represented in the Duma (32%) and also LDPR (25%).
When answering the question, what kind of people should the
head of state have on his team, 61% answered “people who think like Putin and who
have views similar to his own”. 31% answered that the President should surround
himself mainly with professionals. Only 2% would like to see the President
surround himself with more personal acquaintances and friends.
The majority of people polled, 64%, are convinced that Putin’s
entourage is helping him implement his ideas. Only 14% believe that the
President’s team is making his work difficult. Remarkably, in 2013 55% were of
the former opinion, and 20% of the latter.
The confidence that Putin ought to retain the current
composition of his team has also increased over the years: in 2013, according
to VTsIOM, only 30% shared that opinion, in 2014 that proportion increased to
42%, while this year it’s already 54%.
The poll convincingly demonstrates that people trust Putin
and his team, which had not made a single major strategic mistake. Even in the
most complex situations, from the war in Chechnya to EU and US sanctions, Putin
acts unswervingly, reliably, and effectively, defending the interests of the
peoples of Russia.
In Ukraine, on the other hand, the oligarch-cum-officials
could care less about the people or the country, they are mainly concerned
about grabbing the biggest piece of the economic pie that was left over from
the Soviet era, the Kolomoysky case is just but the most recent of examples. I’ll
put it plainly, Russia is lucky to have such a president with his team of
J.Hawk’s Comment: There is no question that Putin and his
team are widely respected in Russia. They satisfy the two fundamental criteria
of effective leadership. If asked whether Putin & Co. are competent, and
whether they care about ordinary Russians, the answer would be yes to both.
Which is more than can be said for most of the leaders of the “free” “world”.
Paradoxically, the Ukraine crisis and the sanctions enabled
the Russian government to display its ability to govern, which I suspect was
not something most Western leaders expected to see, much to their own dismay.