From Ostentatious Parade to Fraudulent Vote, Putin Tries to Cement His Crumbling Rule

30 Jun 2020

(EDM) As the tanks rolled off Moscow’s Red Square last Wednesday (June 24), the Russian propaganda machine instantly switched from glorifying extra-modern militarism to trumpeting the next pivotal political event—the public vote on the package of amendments to the constitution, which began on June 25 and is set to continue until July 1. The Victory Day military parade itself was postponed from May 9, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has by no means weakened; but President Vladimir Putin needed this demonstration of Russia’s military might to create patriotic momentum that would culminate in a resounding political victory (see EDM, June 25). The voting is organized with all sorts of special arrangements for casting ballots by electronic means and absolutely no independent monitoring. It is not, strictly speaking, a referendum, but rather a one-off mobilization of public support, intended to enshrine Putin’s unique status. [...]

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