The Russians are tired of Putin: the president’s New Year’s address gathered the minimum audience in 3 years

The traditional address of President Vladimir Putin has been viewed by the minimum number of Russians since 2019, according to Mediascope data cited by RBC.

The rating of Putin’s New Year’s greetings on all TV channels on December 31, 2022 amounted to 44.6%. This indicator reflects the number of citizens who watched the program as a percentage of the total population.

Last year, the rating of the president’s address for the New Year was at the level of 45.1%, and in 2020, 45.5% of Russians watched Putin’s congratulations.

Mediascope conducted the study traditionally in large cities of Russia with a population of over 100,000 people. The target audience is all viewers over the age of four.

This year, Putin’s congratulations took place in an unusual format. For the first time in 20 years, the president addressed citizens surrounded by military personnel. Putin devoted most of his congratulations to the war in Ukraine, which he called the battle for independence.

Part of the President’s address was devoted to criticism of Western governments. According to Putin, after the start of the war in Ukraine, Russia declared a sanctions war, the result of which was supposed to be the collapse of the country, but this did not happen.

Putin canceled his other public speeches to citizens at the end of the year. This year, the president did not hold a press conference or a direct line, and also postponed the message to the Federal Assembly.

According to Moscow Times sources close to the Kremlin and the government, Putin personally canceled the direct line after the special services failed to guarantee him that they would stop Ukraine’s attempts of new sabotage on Russian territory.

The decision to cancel Putin’s public appearances is connected with failures in the war with Ukraine, RBC sources familiar with the discussion said. The campaign, conceived as a blitzkrieg, turned into a protracted bloodbath, in which even state television channels began to recognize the threat of defeat. And the surrender of Kherson finally broke the victorious narrative of state propaganda, which is rapidly losing viewers before popular talk shows.

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