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Grigory Pasko: Deng Xiao Putin

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Deng Xiao Pu and his team

Grigory Pasko, journalist

Recently in the Russian mass information media there appeared a publication, the main theme of which was – the rating of the broadcast “A Talk with Vladimir Putin”, which had been demonstrated to Russians on 5 December of this year. According to this rating, the teleconversation with the premier of the RF was watched by nearly half of the televiewers of Moscow. I don’t know how much this is when calculated as human individuals. But , in the opinion of the mass information media, these indicators bear witness that the popularity of mister Putin among the people remains high, while the significance of the format of his teleperformance is incomparably higher than for president Dmitry Medvedev.

Personally, I’m convinced: the ratings of both Putin, and of his protégé Medvedev – are purely a television phenomenon. Were there no television and newspapers, there would be no popularity for these television personalities.


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Why does Putin love the television set? Because through it he canimplant in a greater quantity of people in Russia, where users of theInternet – are from 16to 18% of the quantity of the inhabitants of thecountry, the thought about how he – is good.

As concerns the demographic breakdown of those who watch on thetelevision the “Talk with Vladimir Putin”, then, judging by theratings, this is in the main elderly people, over 55 years old, that ispensioners, (that is, the most active and mass television viewers), aswell as, strange as it seems, children. (This is in fact very strange.About the children I have strong doubts: on the greater part of theterritory of the country children at this time were found inpre-schools and schools, and not at the screens of televisions).

From previous apparitions of telePutin to the telepeople this «talk»differed by incredible boringness. But his main mistake telePutin likethe real Putin as well, did not correct and, as I understand, is not ina state to correct: instead of concrete responses and telling about HISconcrete affairs at the post of premier, ALL his words had oneconclusions: it WILL BE better or it SHOULD be. On such promises andempty words about how it SHOULD be, he’s been feeding the entirecountry for a ninth (!) year already. Verily the Russians have a robustpatience. Or the power itself, and its representative Putin, aregenuinely not interesting for them.

It was strongly noticeable that to questions Putin did not respond.When they asked him why medicinal preparations are in short supply inIvanovo, he responded that funding in this area had increased seventimes in recent years. To a question about the situation on the grainmarket the response was in the spirit of «measures have already beentaken, sad that they haven’t gotten to you», although they were askinghim specifically about the collapse of these measures. The politicalscientist Stanislav Belkovsky, for example, characterized theteleperformance of Putin thus: «Putin, deprived of the aura of thepresidency, performed extremely unsuccessfully. It is seen that he hasnot entered upon a premier’s duties, he doesn’t grasp concretequestions of economics, but then in the eyes of the entire country hehas appeared as the person responsible for all that is taking place».

Another observer observed that Putin had decided to check if it’spossible, like unto Deng Xiaoping, to be the head man in the country,not occupying the head office of state.

Deng Xiao Ping, as is known, thrice ascended to the very top of thepyramid of power. Twice they threw him down, but the third time, at theage of 80 years, he voluntarily transferred the reins of rule to a newgeneration of Chinese leadership.

Yet another political scientist, a certain Markov, earlier hadalready observed the similarity of the position of Putin with thesituation of the Chinese elder: «…The insufficient distinctness ofPutin in strategic questions is a problem for the transformation of himinto the Russian Deng Xiao Ping. Deng Xiao Ping more or less clearlyimagined to himself to what a situation he is moving China. But Putinmore clearly imagines to himself what threats he is leading Russia awayfrom. Therefore in order to become the Russian Deng Xiao Ping, he needsto go over from a clear understanding of the past and of the threatsexisting in the present to a clearer vision of the future».

Judging by how obstinately Putin interferes in foreign policy,although this is the prerogative of the president, and howprecipitously as the result of this interference Russia is losingsupporters, and acquires enemies, then here too Putin is a far cry fromDeng Xiao Ping.

As a result, we’ve got this kind of Deng Xiao Putin. Or Deng Xiao Pu.