Soldiers in Crimea Alexander Aksakov/Stringer

El secreto de la supervivencia de Putin

MOSCÚ – Hace dos años, un largo proceso de autoritarismo y aislacionismo creciente bajo el presidente Vladímir Putin culminó con la anexión rusa de Crimea. Pero aunque la comunidad internacional condenó la acción, los rusos aparentemente la recibieron con agrado. De hecho, el “regreso” de la península al control ruso tuvo un profundo efecto sobre la opinión pública, que parece haber fortalecido el poder de Putin, a pesar de los profundos desafíos políticos y económicos a los que se enfrenta Rusia.

En marzo de 2016, el 83% de los rusos apoyaba la anexión de Crimea, mientras que solo el 13% se le oponía. Hasta los progresistas (incluidos algunos que entre 2011 y 2013 protestaban contra el régimen en la plaza Bolotnaya de Moscú) hallaron en Crimea una razón para apoyar a Putin, aunque con reservas. Hoy Putin disfruta de un índice de aprobación del 80%, que refleja hasta qué punto él y Crimea están unidos en las mentes de los rusos.

La razón de semejante apoyo a la anexión es simple. Para la mayoría de los rusos, Crimea sigue siendo parte del “imperio”, tanto cultural como geográficamente. Es verdad que Rusia no tiene poder y recursos para recrear un imperio, ni siquiera dentro de los confines del abstracto “mundo ruso”. Pero concentrándose en Crimea, el régimen de Putin pudo crear una idea de restauración de la justicia histórica y revivir expectativas de un regreso a la condición de “gran potencia”.

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