The Kremlin plans to boost President Vladimir Putin’s approval rating ahead of next year's elections by launching a nationwide lottery among Russian families, the independent news website Meduza reported Wednesday, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter.
A source close to the Kremlin, two high-ranking regional officials and a senior United Russia ruling party member described the lottery — dubbed “It’s a Family Thing” — as a “background project” to Russia’s presidential race.
“It’s essentially an indirect campaign and 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.
“Such background projects help expand social optimism,” the strategist added, explaining that “It’s a Family Thing” aims to show Russia is moving in the right direction despite the economic strains placed on the country by the war in Ukraine and Western sanctions.
Putin is soon expected to announce his bid to seek re-election after widely criticized constitutional changes made in 2020 allow him to run for a fifth and sixth term in office.
“It’s a Family Thing’s” organizing committee is headed by the Kremlin’s deputy chief of staff, Sergei Kiriyenko, and the event is directly organized by the Kremlin’s head of public projects, Sergei Novikov, according to Meduza.
While formally unrelated to the 2024 election, the outlet notes that “It’s a Family Thing” coincides with the Putin campaign’s key dates. These reportedly include the lottery’s launch on Nov. 4 — the opening day of a forum that will reportedly showcase Russia's achievements under Putin’s rule.
Lottery contestants will be expected to perform online tasks, which are said to include cooking, singing, “acts of kindness” and “creating a virtual chronicle of their family.”
Winners will receive 30 housing certificates valued at 5 million rubles ($53,500) each and 300 trips across Russia, among other prizes.
Organizers say more than 400,000 people, including 70,000 families, have applied for the lottery so far. Meduza’s source says the figure could reach half a million by the time the registration deadline hits on Nov. 4.
Meduza adds that news outlets and regional officials have been asked to promote the event, with local officials being informed that the contest is “connected to the elections.”