Before parliamentary elections in Russia: Putin approves special payments for public servants

Status: 08/31/2021 7:05 p.m.

A few weeks before the parliamentary elections, Russian President Putin ordered a special payment for around 1.7 million civil servants. Critics see it as a targeted attempt at bribery.

A good two weeks before the parliamentary elections, Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized payments to civil servants. The one-off payments of 15,000 rubles (about 173 euros) are to be made in September to firefighters, prosecutors and soldiers, among others. This emerges from Putin’s decrees on the website of the Presidential Office. Accordingly, the payments are intended to secure the social needs of the approximately 1.7 million recipients.

The political expert Kirill Rogow told the station “Echo Moscow” that the payments were in fact targeted attempts at bribery among important groups of voters. The President’s Office rejects any connection to the election. Putin announced similar payments to retirees last month, who also make up a large portion of his electorate.

Putin is under pressure from high inflation

The government in Moscow is under pressure because of high inflation and, above all, rising food prices. Putin ordered several times to bring the price spiral under control. Nevertheless, inflation is now 6.5 percent.

In Russia, a new parliament will be elected from September 17th. According to the latest polls, the Kremlin party “United Russia” can expect around 30 percent of the vote in the parliamentary elections in September. That would be significantly less than in 2016.

Putin has been in power as either president or prime minister since 1999. Several groups were excluded from the elections, including allies of the imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. You have been classified as extremist. The remaining parties eligible for election generally follow the line of the Kremlin.

Meanwhile, the non-governmental organization “Reporters Without Borders” lamented the lack of freedom of the press in Russia. The government under Putin has massively restricted freedom of the press and expression by closing other websites critical of the Kremlin, the organization said. “Without independent media reporting on the social reality in Russia, the election loses its meaning,” said the managing director of the NGO, Christian Mihr.

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