Vladimir Putin investigated millions of civil servants to test their 'loyalty' and weed out 'threats': report
Russian authorities recently wrapped a year-long internal investigation into the "emotional state" of thousands of its government officials, due to President Vladimir Putin's concern over their "loyalty," The Daily Beast reports.
Per The Daily Beast, this information, reported by the Russian newspaper, Vedomosti, "comes as Putin appears determined to tighten his grip at home while Ukraine trains an additional 40,000 troops for an upcoming counteroffensive to take back the territories seized by Russia."
During the probe into 2 million federal employees, 33,000 people "were weeded out for perceived misconduct involving social media—in some cases the 'offense' was as simple as following supporters of imprisoned Kremlin foe Alexei Navalny," according to The Daily Beast.
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The decision to investigate, according to Vedomosti, stemmed from the need for Russian officials to pinpoint "who could be relied on for the upcoming presidential election," and as The Daily Beast reports, Putin's administration "deemed the 'number one [protest] threat' ahead of the 2024 election to be 'disappointed patriots,'" or those with "opposition sentiments."
Those officials are described "as those who are dissatisfied with Putin's gentleness in Ukraine, confident in the need for the complete destruction of its statehood, and who consider it acceptable to quickly move the entire country's economy for the sake of this on a wartime footing," a source said.
Additionally, according to The Daily Beast, an independent outlet, Verstka, "reports that the Kremlin has become so worried about whether or not lower-level officials are loyal, they've created a system of 'perks' for officials, which includes "free parking for officials at administrative buildings, vending machines with chips, and preferential terms for bank loans."
The consequences for the thousands of people with "opposition sentiments" has not been revealed.
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The Daily Beast's report is available at this link (subscription required).
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