Dr. Marina Kalashnikova, a distinguished Moscow-based historian and journalist, looks at failed Western policy towards Russia.
The current ‘transition period’ in Russia may reveal nasty mistakes of the Western governments in their policy of reforming Moscow. I mean the ongoing lazy sliding from Putin’s to Medvedev’s presidency with all pertinent accompanying attributes.
Several polling companies came out shouting figures of the presidential ‘successor’s’ popularity. Statistics now vary from 60% to 82%. That is even higher than Mr. Putin’s 75%-level in his last campaign in 2004, which he had earned through the crucible of the Chechen wars, and harsh fights with terrorists and oligarchs. Medvedev’s recognition and legitimacy, for today, exists on an empty place. Artificial figures have nothing to do with realities. They are the product of the president's narrow surrounding collective mind. Following the demand the companies shamelessly lie, releasing PR forgeries instead of measuring people’s trust to the candidate.
Since Soviet times we have been well-trained to perceive national statistics as an anecdote, if not a big lie, and treat them accordingly. Many Western leaders linked polls results of Putin’s ‘popularity and people’s love’ with allegedly high standards of life, stability and social guarantees reached through redistribution of swelling national budget and wealth.
By that they justified their policy of appeasement towards Moscow, turning to dictatorship, in the eyes of their own voters at home.