Forent Russland og Vladimir Putin har tutet russerne så fulle av propaganda at folk begynner å få nok. De er lei av å møte Putin og partiets hans i enhver sammenheng. Folk synes det begynner å minne om gamle dager.
Ikke bare propagandaen, men presset for at folk skal møte opp og stemme, er det samme som i sovjetæraen:
News programs have recently repeatedly broadcast Putin’s call to Russians not only to vote but to vote for United Russia. Earlier in November, state TV newscasts broadcast his entire address to party supporters not only as it was happening but on subsequent newscasts.
Around the country, teachers, doctors and factory workers have said that they are being told by their bosses to make sure to vote on Sunday, with the clear implication that they should vote for United Russia.
AP har vært i Jekaterinburg, Russlands fjerde største by med 1,5 mill. innbyggere, og finner en anti-Putin-reaksjon blant mange av velgerne. De er fed up.
Slava Bozhkov, of the Movement Against Violence rights group, said that his mother was a longtime supporter of United Russia but became disenchanted during the campaign. She was upset with United Russia’s eighth party congress Oct. 1, he said, where Putin announced he would lead the party ticket in Sunday’s elections.
The congress was reminiscent to many of Communist Party congresses of the Soviet era. «This is a complete return to the past,» Bozhkov quoted his mother as saying.
Andrei Khachaturov, a spokesman for the liberal Yabloko party in Yekaterinburg, alleged that in recent weeks local officials have harassed the opposition by seizing party newspapers and mobilizing voters for United Russia. Local universities, he said, have scheduled classes for Sunday so they can be certain all their students show up to vote.
«They want to … legitimize the next parliament because it’s likely it will be void of any liberal opposition,» he said.
The opposition has been given next-to-zero visibility on national TV news programs.
Den allstedsnærværende propagandaen, presset om å stemme og personkulten – alt minner om gamle dager.
«It’s more of a personality cult than a clever campaign tactic,» said Viktor Ishukov, 40, a state energy company employee in Yekaterinburg.
«None of the people I know supports Putin and many have been put off by exactly this obtrusive campaign,» he said. «Everyone is sick of it, United Russia is everywhere: in your mail box, on TV, on the radio.»
Det som også er ubehagelig er at Putin vil ha et stort flertall for å kunne gjennomføre endringer som folk flest er skeptiske til.