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how Vladimir Putin and other presidential candidates united in the Kremlin and did not separate at the concert

On March 18, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with presidential candidates, his exes, a Kommersant special correspondent believes Andrey Kolesnikov, colleagues who quite sensibly relayed their election programs to the president. The logical finale of the meeting was the participation of all those who left the table in the Representative Office in the concert on Vasilyevsky Spusk.

The meeting with fellow candidates for the post of President of Russia took place in the Representative Office of the First Building of the Kremlin. That is, Nikolai Kharitonov, Vladislav Davankov and Leonid Slutsky were received either by the elected president of Russia, or simply by the president. But he’s definitely no longer a presidential candidate.

Nikolai Kharitonov is distinguished, in my opinion, by great, even enormous respect for himself. Throughout his long speech addressed to Vladimir Putin, he so many times quoted other people who turn to him with requests without fail with the words “Nikolai Mikhailovich!..” (that is, he endlessly talked about himself in the third person) that he did not There was absolutely no doubt left: people love Nikolai Kharitonov, value his opinion and treat him with no less respect than he himself. I still considered it my duty, at least for appearances, at least for myself, at least for this note, to doubt, but it was damn difficult.

Nikolai Mikhailovich told everything about his trips to people, and with such significance that it is impossible to overestimate.

— In two and a half months (of the election campaign.— A.K.) “Starting from Khabarovsk, we met, well, probably with all sectors of the Russian national economy,” he admitted.

At the Khabarovsk university, the girl admitted to him that her scholarship was 1,800 rubles a month.

“I tell her: “I studied: it was 33.50,” added Nikolai Kharitonov.

It’s unclear what would upset the girl even more.

– And I had 40! – the president added. – The increased scholarship was 40 rubles…

In their years, this was probably true. And in the early 80s, the increased price was already 47 rubles, and the regular one was 40. I can already remember this myself.

In general, for the girl the information was more and more disappointing. After all, you could even try to live for the whole month on those 40 rubles. And you don’t even have to try for these 1800.

– From Khabarovsk we moved to St. Petersburg, our last stop was in Stalingrad… – Nikolai Kharitonov would never have called this city by his real name, I thought so.

In general, Nikolai Kharitonov worked hard for his four percent.

“And you are moving, and we are moving,” he explained to the president. “Anadyr, Vladivostok… They rushed with the retirement age, as for the Far East… And for milk… We say that calcium is needed (I haven’t heard of it for a long time, to be honest.” A.K.). And calcium is milk!.. The livestock has decreased… I held a visiting committee in Transbaikalia (apparently a meeting of the State Duma committee, or maybe the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, if there is such a thing.— A. TO.). I’ve been around everything! And Kobzon is respected and remembered there. And the stele stands, and he’s there with the star!

Nikolai Kharitonov told everything. Not all:

“We went where he lives,” he continued (what did he mean now? A.K.).— Creamery…

At the creamery, however, it was such a shame: there was no smell of oil. Nikolai Kharitonov was wary: until now, where he came, it smelled just right: at the fish shop – fish, at the sawmill – sawdust.

“When I came to see you, it doesn’t smell like anything,” Nikolai Kharitonov winced. And she (apparently, a factory worker.— A.K.) so quietly: “Nikolai Mikhailovich, there are two and a half tons of whole milk per day…” And what do they work on?.. Powdered milk…

The longer he spoke, the clearer it became in whose hands the country had actually been all these years. Four percent of it seemed like a terrible and offensive misunderstanding. Simply absurd.

But it was also, at first glance, sensible. It was said about the need to finally adopt a federal law on war children.

True, Nikolai Kharitonov addressed himself first of all: the Duma and the Federation Council are adopting the bill. And so there was passion in every letter of the law and Nikolai Kharitonov’s speech.

About mortgages for young families – this is also true. But I did not find a clear understanding from Mr. Putin, who, one might say, let it slip:

— Mortgages for young families, which we are promoting, put a little pressure on inflation… But we’ll talk about it…

I meant – not for cameras. And, let me tell you right away, we talked.

At the end of his speech, Nikolai Kharitonov tried to lower the Central Bank’s interest rate with one movement of his lips. But then something went wrong.

– Let me congratulate you on your historic victory! – Leonid Slutsky exclaimed. – Interest between us (other candidates. – A.K.) does not matter!

It was not strange that the person who took last place in the election race would say this. But his colleagues hardly thought so. Their places were dear to them.

“The difference between us is less than one percent,” continued Leonid Slutsky. “And I wasn’t going to talk about it, but you gave away a secret tonight when speaking to headquarters.” We really gave a significant number of votes from LDPR members to the main candidate! You gave a lot, you have less left for yourself…

I wonder what it looked like technically.

Hey, Leonid Slutsky suffered that he ended up in fourth place, and even made excuses.

“What matters is that today we confirmed the high authority of the leader of the nation!” – Leonid Slutsky exclaimed again. – When the holy noble military operation is underway!..

He forgot to add “special”. But in general everything was correct.

And so he proposed returning the nursery, which accepts children from one and a half months to one and a half years. There were and were no nurseries in the country. Well, we have to agree. Without a nursery, many things are not the same.

“The taxation system must be fair,” shared Vladimir Putin, answering one of Leonid Slutsky’s requests. “There were a lot of disputes about this… We approached this carefully… How, from whom (to take it.— A.K.), how much… Decisions must be verified.

But they will definitely take it.

Vladislav Davankov also congratulated the president on his “confident victory.”

— People sincerely say and believe that such a person (who will “achieve sustainable peace” and “will not leave confrontation to the next generations.”— A.K.) can only be you! Only you can decide to win this confrontation! And the elections show it!

It was logical: the one who started should finish.

One way or another, the candidates recounted their election programs to the president. This was hardly the point of the meeting. However, Vladimir Putin hardly imagined what exactly it consisted of.

After some time (it was no coincidence that Nikolai Rastorguev apparently sang at that very moment), Vladimir Putin and all three other candidates appeared on Vasilyevsky Spusk, where a concert was held to mark the tenth anniversary of the reunification of Crimea and Sevastopol with Russia.

— Exactly ten years ago, here on Red Square, moving to the same stage, I remembered that Crimea is often called an unsinkable aircraft carrier. This is precisely what prompted the idea to say that Crimea has returned to its native harbor! – Vladimir Putin admitted.

He intended to reserve the expression “Crimea returned to its native harbor,” which had lost its author.

“Together, hand in hand, we will move on!” – Vladimir Putin exclaimed. “This is what – not in words, but in deeds – makes us really stronger!” And all this happens thanks to you, citizens of Russia!

– Russia! Russia! – the audience began to chant.

Those on stage should also, in theory, support. But somehow it didn’t work out well. Leonid Slutsky was silent, Nikolai Kharitonov shouted, Vladislav Davankov shook his head. Vladimir Putin smiled.

All the candidates (Why do you want to write “would-be candidates”? I’m just holding my hand and stepping on my throat) also spoke. The lack of public experience had an effect. But that too ended.

All that remained was for Grigory Leps to sing the anthem.

But it came out professionally.

It’s like I’ve been doing this my whole life.

But that’s how it seems to be.

Andrey Kolesnikov

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