Russians are gathering all over the country to express their admiration for Putin’s United Russia political party and urging their beloved leader to remain in power. A Russian lawyer, Pavel Astakhov, went around the country attending these pro-Putin meetings where “ordinary” people took on themselves responsibility for organizing the adoring masses who love Putin to come out and show the world how much he is loved. He was in one city where an “ordinary doctor” was able to bring together a crowd of 15,000 people. Meanwhile, the Russian press published copies of telegrams and official directives addressed to various organizations and universities that require a certain number of their employees and students to be present at the pro-Putin rallies. There are even attempts by leaders of A Just Russia to persuade the legislature to change the Constitution in order that Putin can have another term of president, but these efforts are even too much for Putin to carry out without causing an outcry of anger.
In the aftermath of the end of the Soviet Union, expectations were high that the Russian people would finally be able to live in a democratic society and end rule by a single man. There was a moment when that dream was realized, but the emergence of Putin and a active booming economy has altered the situation. Russia is not a dictatorship, but the old standby attitude that a strong man leading the nation still appears a strong attraction to many Russians.