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Kremlin raffles gifts to ‘strengthen love’ of Putin ahead of election – reports

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By Joshua Askew
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The idea behind the competition is to create the impression that "positivity is winning", noted Meduza.


The Kremlin will raffle off houses and trips in a bid to shore up support of the Russian president, according to an independent media outlet.

Meduza on Wednesday reported that 30 housing certificates worth five million robles, 300 holidays around Russia and “other prizes” will be given away to the public, as part of Vladimir Putin’s 2024 presidential bid.

The raffle – known as ‘It’s in Our Family’ – will “create a positive background for the campaign in a difficult time,” said sources cited by the Latvia-based news website.

“It’s essentially… propaganda to fill the information space in order to lead people to the right choice [of voting for Putin],” an unnamed political strategist told Meduza.

“The impression is created that everything is going according to plan, that there is development, that positivity is winning, stability is still with us, and the country is developing in the right direction.”

“Such background projects help expand social optimism,” they add.

While the competition formally has nothing to do with elections, its main stages are due to coincide with key dates in Putin’s presidential campaign.

The raffle – already publicised by the Russian press - will begin 4 November on the same day as the opening of the “Russia Forum”, which will exhibit the “achievements” of his decades-long rule.

To win, families will have to complete “tasks aimed at creating home comfort”, such as preparing a dish, performing a song or doing an act of kindness that benefits others.

Organisers claim more than 400,000 people, including 70,000 families, have applied for the lottery so far. This figure could reach half a million before the registration deadline, predicts Meduza.

Putin is expected to soon announce his presidential bid, with the prize draws aiming to create a “celebratory” mood by raffling prizes even before the final result, it continues.

He is almost certain to win the vote, though his approval rating is unclear, as Mocow’s invasion of Ukraine continues to claim lives and strain state coffers.

A recent report found that the fallout from the war and Western sanctions were having a grim impact on the country’s population, pushing up prices and causing exchange rates to plummet.

It is unclear to what extent this has impacted Putin’s popularity, with dissent fiercely stamped out in Russia.

Constitutional changes in 2020 mean Putin can run for a fifth and sixth term in office, which could extend his rule well into the next decade.

The Kremlin recently launched a sweeping campaign to convince young Russians the upcoming elections will be free and fair, despite long-running concerns about his autocratic rule that have only grown since the Ukraine invasion in February 2022.

Critics of Putin have increasingly been silenced over the years, with political opposition now largely reduced to a pseudo-state.

His traditional support base is the middle-aged and elderly, pensioners, state employees, workers at state-owned companies and women, while liberals, younger voters and those in Moscow and St Petersburg tend to be more critical.

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