So Putin is up for reelection next year. He has a bunch of fake opponents, created to pretend that Russia is a democracy. You’ve got to playact democracy even if you hate it and go around telling the world how useless it is.
He also has a real opponent. It’s Navalny, the Russian LePen. And gosh, it’s so funny that Putin, who feeds the LePens of the world, should have his own badgering him at home. If you don’t know who Navalny is, please look up my posts about him using the search function.
Everything I observe (and I’ll spare you the details) tells me that Putin is seriously worried about Navalny. Why is a total mystery. Navalny is conducting a talented campaign but he can’t get on TV. And if you can’t get on TV in Russia, it means most voters will never hear about you.
Besides, Putin will, of course, falsify away any percentage of votes that he doesn’t like. This will be accompanied by, “That’s what democracy is like. See, even Americans are investigating if their elections were falsified.” So I see no reason for him to worry. Yet he does.