> The Kremlin says these events are an important way to gauge the national pulse.
It even has local governors, ministers, and business leaders waiting on standby, ready to receive his instructions. Here, for example, he directs politicians to keep moving forward with a proposed law designed to curb gas prices. The event casts Putin as a decisive troubleshooter on the home front, but it has added weight this year.
Just days before his country hosts the World Cup, in the face of a rapidly deteriorating relationship with the west. The notorious sanctions, why do they do this? Because they see Russia as a threat. They see that Russia is becoming a competitor.>>
Critics, however, contend it gives Russians an illusion that they have a say in their government, top-down bureaucracy. Regarding those sanctions, Putin compared them to the steep import tariffs imposed on the EU, Canada, and Mexico by the White House. And claimed he warned Europe years ago about the United States forcing its will on them.