Why are elections in Russia important to Ukraine?
Speaking about Putin's March elections, we focus on only two aspects: that Putin will win and therefore it is not interesting, and that Putin needs to take at least some settlement for the elections (so far, his plans are on Avdiivka)
In fact, this approach is a huge oversimplification of everything that is happening in the Russian political system today.
Let's start with the question, "What are these elections about?" The answer extends beyond the mere act of casting ballots and declaring results exceeding "over 80%." These elections are about the formation of a new system of governance, which we can safely call absolutism.
Following Prigozhin's march, Putin seemingly recognized the absence of any hint of collusion among the elites. This realization led him to reconsider the need to perpetuate the facade of being beloved by the people. Understanding that the populace lacked both an ideological alternative and a viable competitor to Putin himself, he shifted the emphasis in the love-contract-fear triangle, placing fear at the forefront. The people, at the same time, agreed to the creation of the Iron Curtain and the transition to the Soviet system of population control, but without the creation of the Gulag (such a repressive machine is simply not economically viable in the current environment and therefore will not be reproduced).
In general, the new (interim) social contract will provide for full state control over the population (including sending them to the front) in exchange for preserving "greatness" and maintaining a minimum set of necessary economic benefits (one must suffer in exchange for maintaining the status of a great country and not much deterioration in life).
But this is not the most important thing. The most important thing is that with this election, Putin completely nullifies all previous agreements with the elites. The elites understand this, but they are hostages to fear and the system they created. This does not mean that heads will roll immediately after the election. But it does mean that every high-ranking player knows that the system of balances and equilibria that worked before no longer works. And what this new system will look like remains to be seen.
With a high degree of probability, we can say that the author of this future system, which can be considered a system of late Putin - a transit to post-Putin - is Sergei Kiriyenko, who would very much like to become a gray cardinal within this system. And, by the way, he is not taking the USSR model as a basis, but the modern model of China (even here the Russians are not ready to invent something new), but at the same time, he is primitivizing it as much as possible.
About the author: Vadym Denysenko, political scientist.
The editors do not always share the opinions expressed by the blog authors.