“Choose your amendment” is what is written on the signs that. the volunteers, at the polls now open for almost a week, still do countryside, explain the meaning of the vote and the various amendments.
And it is not a trivial matter, to vote consciously this time, given that the changes to the Constitution would allow Putin to remain in office until 2036.
It will be like this until the last day for the vote which is this Wednesday. The decision to spread the voting operations over a week rests on the Covid emergency.
“We invite people to understand the amendments – a volunteer explains – The older generation is the most interested. When we say that there will be an annual indexation of pensions and that it will be written in black and white on the Constitution, then they say” oh yes, that’s a good idea”.
Irina and Yulia are two Balachiha teachers and will vote for the amendments to be adopted. Irina has no problem saying how she will vote: “It is not the first time that I support Putinsono satisfied with what she has done so far and therefore I will continue to support her”.
“In the lockdown when everything was so difficult, families with children got financial support”
Evgeni, he is a pensioner for him the referendum is a bad joke: “It must change something at the top, Putin has governed for 20 years and has not led to anything”.
“The president is not a tsar”, is one of the slogans of the proponents of “No”. Who speak of a constitutional coup to allow Vladimir Putin to remain in the Kremlin. For Yulia Galamina the move is obvious: “He collects consents for himself, in reality he creates a classic autocracy, a classic dictatorship”.
Simple also the thesis of Andrey Kolesnikov, Carnegie Moscow, who thinks that the vote is organized to show that there is a majority that supports Putin even if it has diminished lately.
“The amendments allow him to write in the constitution a reference to his conservative values, God, the nation, the Russian people. I think it is important for the most intimate circle of the president because the ideological framework of putinism is established”.
The leaflets with the amendment guaranteeing the territorial integrity of Russia cover the streets of the Russian capital: an image of Crimea makes a fine show.
Crimea has become one of the symbols of Vladimir Putin’s policy in Russia.