Painful Defeat for Putin? Russians Tuned Out

Written by Henrik Rothen

Mar.08 - 2024 12:23 PM CET

Foto: Screenshot
Foto: Screenshot
Painful Defeat for Putin?

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Although a recent survey showed that up to 82% of Russians would vote for Vladimir Putin in the upcoming presidential election in Russia, not nearly as many Russians are willing to watch Putin on television.

When Putin delivered his major annual address, about half as many people tuned in compared to the same time last year.

According to the Mediascope measurement company, as reported by Wiadomoscki, the broadcast experienced a nearly 50% drop in audience engagement.

Further analysis reveals that on Rossiya-1 and Kanal One, the speech did not resonate well with viewers, ranking 8th and 25th respectively among the week's top 100 TV programs. Other networks also aired the address, including Rossiya-24 and REN TV, but failed to make a significant impact, with the speech not ranking within the top 100 viewed programs.

In his address, delivered on February 29, Putin aimed to reassure the nation of the Russian military's enhanced combat capabilities since the onset of the full-scale war in Ukraine. He touted the army's "enormous combat experience" and praised the emergence of competent commanders who prioritize their troops' well-being.

However, the speech also contained ominous warnings to Western countries considering military support for Ukraine, with Putin asserting that Russia possesses weapons capable of striking targets within their territories, hinting at "tragic consequences" for any such intervention.

This year's diminished viewership of Putin's address to the Federal Assembly indicates a growing disinterest or dissatisfaction among Russians with their leader's messaging, amidst ongoing tensions and the protracted conflict in Ukraine.