Russia’s Presidential election is a little over a week away, but the country’s recent obsession with bizarrely sexual political videos shows no sign of abating.
The most recent one comes from the controversial youth group Nashi.
In the video, apparently set in a doctor’s office, a young woman tells a “doctor”, “I’m scared. I want my choice to be based on love.”
“I understand you, it’s always scary the first time,” the doctor says (creepily), before pointing towards a copy of Time Magazine with Vladimir Putin on the front, and saying “Trust is love.”
The women smiles and walks to a voting station.
Forgetting for a moment the weird idea of a youth group like Nashi (which has reported links to extreme violent acts) essentially running a Putin campaign video (not to mention the unusual use of the Time Magazine cover), the video continues the weird Russian trend of sexualizing the elections, with “Putin Girls”, “Medvedev Girls”, and one guy touching a thousand breasts “for Putin”.
As one YouTube commenter notes, the main takeaway seems to be: “It turns out that I f*ck Putin after March 4?”
Why does the sexualization occur? Der Spiegel suggested last year that the sexualization was a move by Putin — whose personal treatment of women isn’t exactly great — to turn the election into a circus, a distraction from the real issues in Russia.
In an article today, Luke Allnut of RFE/RL writes that the videos might be an attempt to win over the young, urbanized middle class that Putin seems to have lost:
Putin’s campaign managers are obviously hoping for a little of the George Clooney effect: the men want to be him; the women want to be with him. The campaigns are certainly slick and well-produced and closely ape the visual styles of both late-night glamour TV and pornography. Not only are they targeting the young, but specifically young urban professionals (all those power suits and gleaming gadgets).
There’s not really too much doubt that Putin will win the election on March 4. But whether he’ll ever win back that middle class in another…
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