Published On: Fri, Oct 25th, 2019

Putin news: Kremlin on brink as Russians fume at foreign policy | World | News

The Russian President has looked impressive on the world stage as his strongman image continues to grow having seized control of the Middle East from Washington amid Turkey-Syria chaos. Moscow airstrikes in the crisis stricken state lead by ally President Bashar al-Assad have seen the regime gain control and ISIS on the brink of complete removal from Syria. Despite the image of power being a key tenet to his popularity back in Russia, Mr Putin is now alienating voters as his foreign policy takes priority over domestic affairs.

Dr Ben Noble of University College London highlights that the Russian economy is experiencing stagnation and even contractions leading to decreased wages in some sectors.

As a result, citizens are starting to scrutinise the Kremlin’s agenda.

Dr Noble told “To an extent we know that Putin’s popularity in the past has been tied to being a strongman.

“Annexing Crimea lead to a rally round the flag effect that lasted for four years, so he knows he is popular when he can demonstrate the strength of the Russian state to Russians.

“That being said, given the amount the russian state spends on weapons, defence, foreign policy campaigns in Syria for example, we know that Russians know their incomes have remained flat or even gone down recently.

“There is a level of resistance to Russian state spending on foreign projects while domestically things are either remaining the same or are getting worse.

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The result came after 60,000 Muscovites took to the streets of the capital to protest the decision by the Russian Electoral Commission to expel opposition candidates.

The demands for free and fair elections created an embarrassing sub-narrative that looks to have cost Putin.

The Russian President may have humiliated US President Donald Trump in Syria, but his overseas exploits could prove to be the catalyst for the release of his vice like grip on Russian politics.

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