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Political scientists say Putin plays key role in Russian "soft power"

Putin's personality and charisma allow Russia to successfully position itself in the consciousness of both ordinary people and also foreign elites, says a Center for Political Analysis report
Vladimir Putin  Mikhail Metzel/TASS
Vladimir Putin
© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, October 31. /TASS/. Russian “soft power” aimed at promoting the country’s image abroad is working and President Vladimir Putin is its key element, a report presented by the Center for Political Analysis at TASS on Friday says.

“Russian soft power is working smoothly. Russian President Vladimir Putin was and remains its main force. His personality, charisma, international authority, business and political qualities allow the country, which he represents, to successfully position itself in the consciousness of both ordinary people and also foreign elites,” the report reads.

The term “soft power” is a form of political power which is capable of achieving the needed results by attracting and arousing sympathy compared with “hard power” that implies coercion.

The authors of the Russian Soft Power report said in the 1990s Russia almost suspended its effort to improve the public opinion abroad. The importance of working with foreign mass media came to the forefront when Putin became the country’s leader in 2000.

When the political crisis hit the former Soviet country and Russia’s neighbor Ukraine earlier this year, Moscow already possessed “its own system of information influence,” the report says.

The report cites the results of various opinion polls conducted in the United States, Europe, China and other countries, which showed that Europeans and Americans opposed their countries’ interference in the Ukrainian conflict.

“Europeans and Americans believe that only Vladimir Putin can resolve it,” according to the report.

Among those sympathizing with Putin and Russia are the representatives of practically all the political forces — both right-wing, centrist and left-wing parties, radicals, “wise men,” street activists and politicians integrated into political system.