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Vladimir Putin nears end-game in drive to revamp constitution

Russian voters offered prizes to vote in ballot that could help president stay at helm until 2036

“Putin didn’t make the [constitutional] changes because he thinks society is disgruntled with his policies but because he wanted to reset the clock and the system, to leave a legacy,” said Tatiana Stanovaya, founder of independent political analyst R. Politik.

“But the Kremlin doesn’t understand the depth of the problems in society. People are tired because they want a different view of the future and what plan there is for the country, and the Kremlin can’t offer them one.”

With discontent high, the Kremlin launched a blizzard of measures that analysts have suggested were aimed at boosting the public mood.
The rush to hold the vote despite the pandemic highlighted the Kremlin’s worries that Mr Putin’s popularity could sink further, Ms Stanovaya said.

“They’re too scared to do it in September or October, never mind December, because who knows what’ll be happening by then,” she said. “The sooner you do it, the less headache and risk there is.”

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