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UK intel: Kremlin suppresses criticism of its Ukraine war before Putin re-election bid

Russia restricts open discussion at universities ahead of Putin’s expected 2024 re-election bid, tightening control of narratives and dissent in wartime Russia, as per British intelligence.
UK intel: Kremlin suppresses criticism of its Ukraine war before Putin re-election bid

In its 29 October intelligence update on Ukraine, the British Defense Ministry says Russia’s Ministry of Education further limits open discussions on negative issues in universities, prompting worries about the impact on policy debates and potential election influence.

The ministry tweeted:

  • In mid-October 2023, Russia’s Ministry of Education and Science reportedly instructed universities to avoid open discussion of any “negative political, economic and social trends” in Russia during academic activities.
  • This constitutes a further restriction of the information space in wartime Russia, making it more difficult to openly discuss policy issues. In the longer term, this will likely further the trend of Russian policy-making taking place in an echo chamber of politically acceptable, pro-Kremlin perspectives.
  • It is highly likely that the Kremlin wishes to further suppress negative perspectives on the ‘special military operation’ in the run up to President Vladimir Putin’s anticipated bid for re-election in March 2024.

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

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