Editorial: the Kremlin TV show

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Photo: Mikhail Japaridze/Mikhail Japaridze/TASS

In an interview to Postimees in November, a leading Russian media expert Valeri Solovei said he had no idea when the state propaganda effect would weaken on Russia's society but he guessed there would be a glitch in the system someday. Looks like this is troubling the very leaders in Russia in these days of dark clouds gathering on home turf. The grumbling is growing louder. Increasingly, protest actions pop up in various corners of Russia. 

Troubled in daily lives, Russian are hardly better by evening news telling of the next «victories» in foreign policy. Which was the backdrop to President Vladimir Putin’s yearly press conference.

This time, the message was don’t worry s things aren’t too bad at all and the problems will soon be over. Suffer a little while longer, the crisis is as good as over. Meanwhile, it was obvious the Kremlin was worried. As evidenced, among other things, by Mr Putin’s reply to the desperate truckers in Russia – the Kremlin’s first reaction to the protest actions these past months against a new tax system to enrich the Rotenberg oligarchy close to Mr Putin.

Which will not mean that the Kremlin is about to yield ground. Not with the Rotenbergs nor in the recent corruption scandals around prosecutor-general Mr Chaika and his family. At the press conference, Mr Putin’s message regarding that was simple: the Kremlin «family» will not abandon its own.

On basis of the rhetoric at the press conference, no backing down in foreign policy either. Again, threats sounded as addressed to Russia’s enemies, to punish whom the rockets do abound. Again we hears about the Turks stabbing them in the back. The confrontation with Turkey will continue and the way Mr Putin sounded the perspective of improved relations is evasive. Obviously, to keep the society mobilised, new enemies are continually needed to scare the people with in the evening news. Yesterday, it was Ukraine. Today, it is Turkey. Tomorrow, somebody else.

For lots of analysts the presentation by Mr Putin served as confirmation that the current Russian is beginning to grow weary and the options to tackle the mounting problems are being exhausted. Increasingly, the reality of the TV show and the Russian president seems to distance itself from the surroundings which regrettably spells uncertainty ahead and surprises for their citizens and neighbours.