Putin’s Approval Rating: Open Response to Seymour Hersh’s Post on Putin’s Landslide Victory

Seymour Hersh on Vladimir Putin’s Approval Rating and Resounding Victory: An Open Response

Recently, renowned journalist, Seymour Hersh questioned Putin’s approval rating and poll results, which he posted in an article on his Substack.  I, as a free subscriber, received an email, which was truncated, since I don’t pay for a subscription. There are many great journalists, and I just don’t have the money to support everyone.

But I was struck by his opening:

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THE IRON-CLAD PIÑATA

Putin is an enemy the West cannot topple—so why does Biden keep swinging?

The Russian president’s unchallenged re-election over the weekend was a farce by democratic standards, especially coming after the death last month of the imprisoned dissident Alexei Navalny. The 77 percent turnout was the largest since the fall of the Soviet Union, and Putin won 87 percent of the vote. “It was the same process” as in earlier Russian elections, a knowledgeable American official caustically told me.  “The Russians voted that way because it was in their interest to do so. The people had to vote.”

Even amid a difficult and costly war that he initiated, Putin remains firmly in control of Russia, despite a series of Western sanctions and wishful thinking in Washington that its military expertise, weapons, and enthusiasm for the war would loosen his grip on power. Blindfolded by ideology, Biden wants the candy of regime change, but Putin has proven to be an iron-clad piñata. >

I was honored to receive a reply to my message to him ‘[this is] Russophobic Bullshit’, and I wrote back to him expanding on my first brief rejoinder. Since these were private emails, I won’t disclose the conversation out of respect. However, the article he posted is public and not only deserves, but demands a response.

Let’s Use Some Critical Thinking to Examine These Statements

“The Russian president’s unchallenged re-election.”

In the USA, this year there are two parties, Democrat and Republican, plus two minor parties, Green and Libertarian. I get emails from Jill Stein’s campaign, which document how the Green Party is actively suppressed by Democratic Party machinations. Donald Trump, the obvious favorite of Republican voters is being actively attacked by questionable lawsuits. His campaign was accused by the Democrats of collusion with Putin’s Russians. Those charges have been repeatedly refuted by such award winning journalists such as Aaron Mate, as well as seasoned retired intelligence agency professional such as William Binney and Ray McGovern.

DNC computers were not hacked. A DNC whistlelblower downloaded the incriminating emails on a thumbdrive. They proved that it was THE DEMOCRATS, who deliberately undermined Bernie Sanders, against the will of the Americam people! So whose democracy is a farce here?

Reality: Putin ran as an independent, however, affiliated with the dominant United Russia Party. He had three challengers:

  • A long time Communist Party representative in the Russian legislature, Nikolai Kharitanov. He ran in 2004 and received 13.8% vs Putin’s 71.9%. He is on record supporting Putin and the Special Military Operation in Ukraine but opposes some of Putin’s domestic policies
  • A long time Liberal Democratic Party representative Leon Slutsky. Who is Leon Slutsky? “Slutsky has been a First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma’s Committee on International Affairs, and became Chairman of the Committee on International Affairs in the 7th State Duma. He is dean of the international relations department at the Moscow State University of Economics, Information and Statistics. He has held senior banking positions and was an advisor to the mayor of Moscow
  • Vladislav Davankov, “Deputy chairman of the lower house of parliament, the State Duma, and a lawmaker for the New People political party, which his father, a businessman, helped to set up in 2020. Aged 40, Davankov is the youngest registered candidate and the recipient of various state awards, including one from Putin. He has said he won’t criticise his political opponents. His main campaign slogans are “Yes to changes!” and “Time for new people!” Davankov has tried to position himself as someone opposed to excessive curbs on people’s personal freedom and – in the context of Russian politics – as someone who is more liberal. Without mentioning Ukraine by name, he has said he favours “Peace and talks. But on our terms and with no roll-back.”

“A farce by democratic standards”.

Anyone with any degree of critical thinking knows that US presidential elections, heavily influenced by major media that promote some candidates over others, and by big donors, are determining factors in who wins. (Citizen’s United enshrined money as the defining factor in US elections). “The 2010 Supreme Court decision further tilted political influence toward wealthy donors and corporations.” Here is a quick 3 minute civics lesson in USA ‘democratic standards’. George Carlin:

You Have NO Choice - George Carlin

So please Seymour Hersh, cut the crap with this Russian ‘farce by democratic standards’. Fix your own country’s problems, OK?

Again, as I pointed out to him, the Levada Center, which is a polling organization, funded by the West, found that Putin had an 86% approval rating before the election. His actual voting result was 87+%. So the vote in his favor is credible. Here is a chart of Putin’s approval over time.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/896181/putin-approval-rating-russia/

This is a link and screenshot of Putin’s approval rating since 1999, through late 2022.

During his state of-the-nation speech in January 2020, Vladimir Putin suggested amendments to the Russian Constitution, some of which are aimed at restructuring the executive power within the country’s administration. Regarding the amendments, 47 percent of Russians believed that they were designed to prepare the political system for the period after 2024, allowing Putin to stay in power in a role different from a president. In March 2020, an amendment was proposed to the Constitution to reset the previous presidential terms of Putin, allowing him to stay as a president until 2036. The amendments were approved in an all-Russian voting with nearly 78 percent of Russians supporting them.

Well, What about ‘imprisoned dissident Alexei Navalny’?

Here is an article by the famous ‘Legal arm of the CIA’, the National Endowment for Democracy, which was founded to create plausible deniability for CIA meddling in other countries, as a precursor to regime change. It excoriates Russia for persecuting Navalny, who would be more accurately described as ‘the future Juan Guaido’—the US puppet that it attempted to install in Venezuela.

It claims that he was poisoned by Novichok. However, Novichok does not ‘almost’ kill. When Russia allowed him to be treated by German doctors, Russia asked for the results of the medical tests.

Germany refused to release them. There is no evidence other than accusations that Navalny was poisoned by Novichok.

https://www.ned.org/ned-statement-on-reported-death-of-russian-opposition-leader-aleksey-navalny/

But the real icing on the cake is when another regime change NGO, the Carnegie Endowment for Peace, noted that Navalny offered Russia the chance to return to the days of Mikhael Gorbachev, and Boris Yeltsin, the two of whom nearly destroyed Russia with the connivance of the Western CIA and Wall Street asset strippers, who stole the wealth created by the Soviet people.

<He was an alternative to them [The Russian/Kremlin leadership], and he presented an alternative to an enormous nation. For the last half a century at least, only Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin have played that role: each in their own way, and with varying popularity among the masses who wanted to see changes in their country. >

For stupid brainwashed people in the West, please go to Russia and ask their opinion of Gorbachev and Yeltsin. Gorbachev took orders from the West, fatally weakening the USSR. Yeltsin illegally dissolved the USSR against the 70+% vote by the Soviet peoples to preserve it. He then invited in Western vulture capitalists, who destroyed the Russian economy, sending millions into poverty and early death!— ‘varying popularity among the masses’, indeed. Most Russians consider them traitors.

https://thealtworld.com/anthony_cartalucci/wikileaks-reveals-alexei-navalnys-us-funding-as-washington-exploits-his-death

Wikileaks Reveals Alexei Navalny's US Funding as Washington Exploits His Death

– Alexei Navalny’s political activities were funded by the US government through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) as part of an effort to repeat US-backed 2014 Ukraine regime change inside Russia itself;

– The Western media had previously (and reluctantly) revealed Navalny as far-right, racist, and xenophobic despite efforts to pass him off as a progressive pro-democracy activist;

– US government-funded polling agencies consistently found Alexei Navalny extremely unpopular in Russia with single digit approval ratings;

– After an alleged 2020 “Novichok” poisoning, Navalny’s popularity “surged” to 20% as the Western media accused Moscow of being behind the incident;

– The US is now exploiting the death of Navalny to advance its anti-Russia policy while the Western media collective omits all relevant context regarding Navalny’s background and US funding;

“ a knowledgeable American official caustically told me”

Who is this ‘knowledgeable American official? In my follow up reply to Hersh, I told him that I get my information from people like the real Russian experts, such as Ray McGovern, who headed the CIA information desk (rather than the ‘dirty tricks’ desk). McGovern was at the original signing of the nuclear arms agreement in Moscow in the 1970’s. McGovern would definitely disagree with that ‘knowledgeble American official’. Hersh claims McGovern as a friend, but obviously didn’t consult him for his hit piece.

“The Russians voted that way because it was in their interest to do so. The people had to vote.”

Certainly, there was a ‘get out the vote campaign’. It’s ok for the Democrats to urge people to vote for Biden, despite his obvious infirmities. And OK for the Republicans to prevent the evil Democrats from ruining the country. Each man, woman or ‘it’ to their own poison.

But if Putin’s campaign does it, it’s apparently seen as pressure. In fact, the Russians, having been through hell in the 1990’s and knowing how life changed for the better when Putin came to power, ‘voted that way because it was in their interest to do so’.This is also why Putin’s approval rating has consistent been very high, compared with Western leaders.

So what’s Hersh’s problem, exactly?

“Even amid a difficult and costly war that he initiated”,

This is a lie endlessly repeated. Even some brainwashed Russians overlook the fact that

  • The CIA under Biden and Nuland orchestrated a coup to overthrow the democratically elected government in 2014
  • Massacres of Russian speakers occurred in Odessa and Lugansk post coup
  • The Russian speakers of Eastern Ukraine, the Donbass fought for their lives and to prevent forced expulsion aka ‘ethnic cleansing’ or death for 8 years.
  • Germany, France and the Ukraine used the Minsk Agreements, meant to create a peaceful solution, but instead used the time to rebuild the Ukraine military for a ‘final solution’ to the ethnic Russian problem.
  • In February, 2014, shelling of the Donbass went from 40 per day up to over 1000 per day, killing defenseless civilians. It was then that….
  • The Russian Duma finally passed a resolution to enable Russia to prevent imminent assault on the Donbass. It is a lie that this is ‘Putin’s war’. After 8 years, the Russian people demanded action to stop the ongoing war by Kiev against Russian speakers.
  • And US internal documents noted for years that Nato encroachment on Russia’s borders was a direct threat. The West spurned Russia’s request to honor its agreements, broken over 30 years. By placing nuclear weapons in Europe and Turkey, the US is even violating the agreement post Cuban Missile Crisis, and abrogating the painfully negotiated INF Agreement negotiated by Reagan and Gorbachev.

It’s like, a thug comes to your house, vandalizes it, threatens your family and brings a gun to your front porch, already shooting, but it’s your fault for firing back.

This is the West’s idea of ‘International Relations’. And Hersh, in his post questioning Putin’s approval rating and election results, furthers that narrative. By doing so, he pushes a false narrative, which is increasing Russophobia in the general public and abuses his role as a heretofore trusted journalist. It makes a real hot war, even a nuclear war more possible, because of this decades long Russophobic neurosis.

End Note:

Truly Shocking—But Hardly Surprising

In my research regarding Putin’s approval rating, I went online to the usual Google related searches, only to find all the links point to the “Heroic Victim and fighter for democracy in Russia” narrative. I’d seen other reports to the contrary…but not on our trusted search engines based in the West. I had to go to the Yandex browser and search engine to find articles that go against the Western black propaganda narrative.