As Russia’s acts of violence and aggression against Ukraine intensify, people in the West are surprised at the refusal of Putin’s supporters to face the truth. How Putin has been recognized and perceived by the Russian public over the years will help shed light on why millions of Russians do not react against the atrocities inflicted on the people of Ukraine – as they still believe their fate rests in the hands of this leader who led the country out of poverty more than two decades ago,
Scholars have found out that economic performance has been the constant driver of support for the Russian president. The public’s approval of Putin’s authoritarian leadership during his more than 20-year rule has been instrumental in bringing the country out of its economic collapse in 1990. Following the fall of the Soviet Union, the ex-KGB spy underpinned his popularity to the narrative that he has been responsible for the economic recovery and stability of the country.
To many of Putin’s supporters, financial wellbeing and staving off inflation rates are the practical factors dominating their perception of Putim. In fact, Putin’s public approval surged massively after the Russian government under Putin’s leadership was able to annex Crimea in 2014. Back then, governments in other countries did not deem it fit to intervene, while the people of Crimea couldn’t hold the resistance on their own.
As much of Putin’s support are founded on economic well being, many believe it will not take long before supporters will turn their backs on the Russian president. The western world has imposed sanctions that have been crippling Russia’s economy, while many of Russia’s talents and intellectuals have been leaving the country. It’s highly likely that the people’s pro war sentiments will erode over time .
Will Putin Face War Crimes?
Charges of war crimes are being prepared against Putin, while many of Russia’s military leaders have died in what was supposed to be a quick military operation. Even the soldiers in the field are not as enthusiastic about prolonging the battle as there are reports of suicide and mutiny taking place due to low morale among the soldiers.
Putin’s armed conflict againt Ukraine has escalated into a simple act of sowing terror by attacking hapless civilians, targetting hospitals, cultural and religious eidifices which many though are protected by the rules of engagement. How Putin plans to end the war he waged againt Ukraine is still not clear. US President Joe Biden though warned that Putin will no longer be allowed to stay in power.