Experts: Putin's live broadcast rescheduled due to his unwillingness to talk about corruption

Experts: Putin's live broadcast rescheduled due to his unwillingness to talk about corruption
Vladimir Putin

Earlier, press secretary of the Russian leader Dmitry Peskov said that the nationwide live broadcast would not be held in April this year.

Sources close to the Administration of the Russian president told Kommersant that this year, the nationwide live broadcast with Putin will be postponed either to the Day of Russia on June 12, or to the Children's Day on June 1. Earlier, the Kremlin attributed the extension of date to the busy schedule of the head of state, however, Director of Levada-Center Lev Gudkov explained this by the mass protests that swept across Russia in late March, of which Putin "clearly does not want to talk."

"The topic of corruption is very explosive. It casts a shadow not only over Dmitry Medvedev, but also over Vladimir Putin. Corruption scandal is more than just the investigation of Alexey Navalny. The movie added up to the growing negative attitudes from below. According to my calculations, which in fact are understated, only in the last two years there were 750-800 reports of corruption scandals," Gudkov noted.

Sociologist Igor Eidman tends to believe the same; The Kremlin does not want the questions about corruption and protests to leak into the air. He also shares his forecast in his blog: "Putin may try to ‘change the agenda’ using the method from 2014, namely to distract people from the protest movement with the help of yet another foreign-policy military adventure. And this is the greatest threat of the day."

According to the newspaper, the use of ‘symbolism of holidays' by the authorities was discussed on the weekend at the media forum of the All-Russian People's Front by the behest of Kremlin's public projects management. It is about choosing dates, which promote citizens' unification. The Day of Astronautics (April 12) and the Children's Day are the most promising from this point of view.

Last year, the live broadcast was held on April 14. Recently, the press secretary of the head of state Dmitry Peskov said that this year the nationwide live broadcast would not be held in April, “It will be later, but before August." According to Peskov, this is due to the president's schedule, since it is necessary that "it was convenient for him."

In total, the Putin’s nationwide live broadcast phone-in has been held 14 times. Up to 2011 inclusively, Vladimir Putin answered the questions of Russians in autumn or winter, most often in December. Since 2013, the airtime with the president has been taking place in April.

In an interview with Kommersant, Political Scientist Konstantin Kalachev noted that this year, the live broadcast nationwide phone-in may become "the starting point for the beginning of the presidential campaign." "It’s not only that it is disadvantageous to hold the broadcast due to the protests. The point is, you need to talk to people when you have a campaign. It takes time to think through the drama, tactical resource, message, and public image characteristics," the expert said, adding that perhaps the presidential administration does not have time to do it now.

Let us recall that the protest actions swept across the country on March 26. In Moscow, the authorities had not coordinated the meeting, and the opposition’s jamboree resulted in mass detentions; up to 30 thousand people took to Tverskaya and the adjacent streets, more than 1000 were detained. Less large-scale protest actions were also held in dozens of other Russian cities.

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