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British intel: Putin to avoid unpopular moves ahead of re-election bid

The Kremlin may postpone any new mobilization drives until after Russia’s March 2024 presidential vote, as new call-up could prove politically damaging.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. Credit: Sergey Bobylev/TASS
British intel: Putin to avoid unpopular moves ahead of re-election bid

With Russia’s presidential election just five months away, it appears highly unlikely that the Kremlin will initiate additional mobilization measures before voters go to the polls in March 2024, the UK Defense Ministry reported.

British Intelligence noted that despite not yet publicly announcing the current Russian President’s intention to run the election again, Putin’s election campaign may begin informally in November 2023.

The ministry tweeted:

  • “While elections in Russia are subject to interference and control by the Kremlin, they remain a core tool of political legitimisation. It is almost certain that Putin’s election campaign will focus on the theme of Russia as a separate civilisation in need of defence from external enemies – a narrative frequently used to justify the state’s actions and Putin’s consolidation of power.

  • In the build-up to the election, the Kremlin will almost certainly seek to minimise unpopular policy moves. It is therefore highly unlikely that any further mobilisation wave will be implemented before the March 2024 presidential election.”

Meanwhile, ISW, in its daily report, cited the Press Secretary of Russian President Dmitriy Peskov, who said that Russia will hold regular elections to “emphasize that it is still a functioning and confident state despite the war.” His insinuation that Putin will win the elections unanimously also frames him as “an effective and capable war-time leader with the total support of his society.”

However, ISW has recently reported several examples of the Kremlin strengthening efforts to control the information space and seeking to dispel concerns over another mobilization wave before 2024. As per ISW, it enables the Kremlin to consolidate its narratives within the Russian information space.

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