Kremlin worries setbacks in Ukraine's war will affect election results in Russia - ISW
The Kremlin is likely concerned that the army's failures in the war in Ukraine will affect the results of the presidential election in Russia in March 2024
Analysts of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) shared the information in the resent report.
ISW noted that the Kremlin has begun to take measures to ensure that the actual support of Russian leader Vladimir Putin in the elections does not rely on Russia's success on the battlefield. In particular, in the presidential campaign, Putin wants to focus on Russian internal affairs and criticism of the West, but not on the war in Ukraine.
"Putin and other Russian government officials have already signaled their intention to intensify censorship efforts by claiming that some Russian citizens who left Russia and others still in Russia have begun efforts to discredit the upcoming Russian presidential elections and that Russia will do 'everything necessary' to prevent election meddling," the report said.
The Russian authorities have also attempted to consolidate control over the Russian information space and have intensified measures encouraging self-censorship. Analysts believe that the Kremlin may have tried to shore up popular support for Putin across Russia by creating a network of "proxies" to campaign on Putin's behalf.
- On November 6, Reuters reported, citing its own sources, that Russian leader Vladimir Putin had decided to run for president in 2024, and that his advisers were already preparing for the campaign.
- On November 9, ISW analysts noted that Putin is likely to avoid the topic of the war in Ukraine during his 2024 presidential campaign. Instead, he will focus on alleged "stability" in Russia and criticizing the West.
- On November 20, Russian media reported that the Kremlin had told the regions what result Putin should have in the 2024 elections.