Although the only possible opposition candidate to Mr Putin (Mr Navalny) is more in and out of jail than anything else and has not been allowed to run, although no one else will even stand a chance in a debate against Mr Putin, although it is widely expected Mr Putin takes 85 to 90% of the vote (depending on how many ballots will be counted), still the Kremlin seems convinced that blaming the historical enemy which the US still is to many Russians for all the country’s woes a month and a half before their own Presidential election, is a sure way of getting their citizens mindset in the right direction.
With that in mind, and foreseeing that the report that the US Treasury will publish later this week is sure to impose sanctions against some of Russia’s oligarchs for their ties to Mr. Putin, the Kremlin has stepped up its propaganda machine and on every TV station you can now hear how the US is trying to influence the Russian Presidential Election foreseen for 18 March.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov: "We do think that this is a direct and obvious attempt to time some sort of action to coincide with our elections in order to influence them."
"We disagree with this, and we are sure this will have no influence."
"Putin's popularity reaches far beyond Russian borders and I don't think anyone can doubt the fact that Putin is an absolute leader in the way he is perceived by the public and an absolute leader of the political Olympus."
"It's unlikely that at this stage there is someone who is serious competition."
<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en-gb"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Today's Russian papers reflect the nervousness in Moscow ahead of the US Treasury publishing a list of Russian oligarchs & their family members with close links to Vladimir Putin (& the sources of their income) <a href="https://t.co/S5xi2GYZss">pic.twitter.com/S5xi2GYZss</a></p>— Steve Rosenberg (@BBCSteveR) <a href="https://twitter.com/BBCSteveR/status/957888287057829888?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">29 January 2018</a></blockquote>
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To the untrained eye like ours apparently is, it seems strange that a government, any government for that matter, would spend money trying to influence a presidential poll which many say will be won by an 80% margin very safely, but what do we know?