Ahead of Russia’s election, it’s Vladimir Putin’s billboards that do the talking
The incumbent is seen but seldom heard; his rivals, meanwhile, are hitting the campaign trail. But toward what end? The country is preparing for the continuation of the Putin era, while the West braces for a more aggressive Moscow
Special to The Globe and Mail
This article was published more than 2 years ago. Some information in it may no longer be current.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, 65, has held the reins of power for 18 years, and there is little doubt that voters will propel him to another six-year term on Sunday. His grip on Russia is total, media coverage is glowing and political opposition is weak – in large part because of a state effort to disqualify and intimidate the fiercest critics of Mr. Putin.
His poll numbers sit at 70 per cent and it is a rare day that the Russian ruler is seen publicly campaigning. The omnipresent billboards and posters do the talking – while his nominal rivals (polling in the single digits) partake in some electioneering around the country.