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Kremlin May Put 'Political Instructors' In Ministries, State Companies To Bolster Support.

Police detain a demonstrator during a protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine in Moscow on February 24.

Police detain a demonstrator during a protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine in Moscow on February 24.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s administration has recommended placing people inside ministries, government agencies, and state-owned companies to spread the Kremlin's political agenda among employees -- a move that harks back to Soviet times -- amid concern over fraying support, Kommersant reported.
The newspaper said the officials -- referred to as "political instructors" -- would be responsible for informing employees of the Kremlin's political views and monitoring their frame of mind. The idea first arose last year during the parliamentary election campaign as the presidential administration discovered "problems with loyalty" toward the Kremlin's current political agenda in a host of state bodies, the paper said .
The presidential administration has returned to the idea following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Putin's decision to attack Ukraine has isolated Russia politically and devastated its economy, hurting average citizens. Members of Putin's administration recommended the idea to deputy governors during a seminar held outside Moscow on April 7-9 dedicated to domestic politics, the newspaper reported, citing people familiar with the event. Putin has intensified his two-decade-long crackdown on political and media freedom since launching the invasion of Ukraine on February 24. His government recently passed laws criminalizing the spreading of information about the war it determines to be "fake," which opponents say gives unconditional power to the authorities to arrest anyone critical of the war. Russia has also banned various independent media as well as the largest social-media networks, including Facebook and Instagram, to prevent citizens from consuming news about the war not approved by the state.

The idea to install "political instructors" -- should it be implemented -- could touch millions of working Russians. Putin has expanded the bureaucracy during this 22-year rule while widening state control of the economy, especially in the energy industry.

With reporting by Kommersant

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