Similar TV programmes from across the world and why the 'Putin special' was made
The Russian state TV channel Rossia has launched a programme titled ‘Moscow. Kremlin. Putin’ which focuses on the work and life of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The programme was only announced on the eve of its premier. There was no information about its content, frequency or even the anchor of the programme until the first episode was released.
Every week a new episode will focus on various parts of Vladimir Putin’s life. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov who appeared in the first episode described the programme as an attempt to show a week in the life of the head of the state.
The first episode touched on four issues:
• Putin’s working visit to Siberia;
• An announcement pertaining to pension reform mitigation;
• A visit to a children’s centre;
• Vacation in Siberia.
The programme only voiced praise for the president, including for:
‘His good physical form’;
‘His busy work schedule’;
‘His love for children’;
‘Mitigating pension reform’.
Here are several quotations from guests on the programme:
“The president of Russia has been [in the position] for more than a year – he could have relaxed, but no – he has a busy schedule every week.”
“I don’t really understand how he can handle such a schedule, it’s a marathon!”
“Putin knows from personal experience just how dangerous and difficult the work of a miner is.”
“He always talks to the people to figure out what worries them.”
“The president explained the essence of the issue in just half an hour.”
“It is obvious just how much Putin loves children.”
“He loves people. He is a very humane person.”
The purpose of such a programme? The BBC’s suggestions
The BBC suggests that the reason for this programme can be found in falling popularity ratings for Vladimir Putin, which occurred after the authorities announced plans to raise the retirement age.
Since June 2018, the popularity rating of President Vladimir Putin has fallen by some 15 per cent (from 62 on 10 June to 47 on 30 August – data from the Public Opinion Foundation).
This is the steepest fall in popularity for the Russian president and the lowest approval rating since 2011, when the country was engulfed in major protests over parliamentary elections.
Examples to follow
In countries where one person has ruled the country for a number of years, such TV programmes are rather commonplace.
For example, Hugo Chavez, the former president of Venezuela who ruled the country for some 14 years, came out every Sunday morning on a TV programme called Alo Presidente from 1999 to 2012.
The state broadcaster of Turkmenistan regularly produces programmes in participation with President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow who has been in power since 2006. In the programmes he is portrayed as a modern and energetic leader.
In some of these programmes, 61-year-old Berdimuhamedow can be seen rapping, working out, riding horses, shooting automatic weapons and driving BMW M3s.
A series of documentary films were shot about the leader of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev (in power since 1990), which were shown for an entire week.