Russian media versus Putin. Three prominent Russian business dailies, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Vedomosti and Kommersant, published articles criticizing the government for its role in declining household incomes, which have steadily fallen over the past five years. Specific criticisms include general economic mismanagement, structural imbalances, failed import substitution schemes, higher taxes and a “harsh” budget. Kommersant went so far as to suggest that, income-wise, things are worse now than they were in the 1990s. Vedomosti published several articles on the matter, including an analysis that said there is tension building between President Vladimir Putin and his fellow elites. It notes that Putin’s support is no longer enough to guarantee victory in regional elections – that, if anything, they will reflect the growing dissatisfaction with him. It’s uncommon for Russian media under Putin to so brazenly criticize and question the government. That, and the domestic unrest Russi
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