The Retreat of the Oligarchs: The Great Russian Restoration

…The key takeaway here is that the almost two decade-long détente within Russia between the pro-West and pro-Russia factions has now been totally shattered. President Putin has made a play to consolidate more power and move the country in the direction of autarchy and autocracy by appealing to the support of the people. His recent speech at a stadium in Moscow was something you don’t see often from him — the last time we saw something comparable was when he appeared on stage after his electoral victory in 2018 and gave an emotional thank you to the Russian people for re-electing him again. But for the most part, Putin has not often utilized mass rallies as a political instrument, preferring to stream conferences with ministers and deliver pre-prepared video speeches. In that sense, he is quite unlike Trump, who built his entire movement on his high-energy political rallies where he would rail on and diss his personal and political opponents for hours at a time in front of a rapturous crowd. His populist appeal to the Russian people was answered in force: the stadium was overflowing and there were massive crowds outside it as well.

With this move, Putin has proven that he has the Russian people behind him.


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