Another quick/ad-hoc collection of thoughts on why "free" Russians abroad came massively to vote & many probably voted for Putin? If you are familiar with the following Russian narratives, you'll understand:
- Putin restored the "might" of Russia by responding to enemies of Russia/Russian people/Russian speakers (see the concept expansion) & invading the "fascists" (who all happen to be most of the people around the world Russia disagrees with & of course those all "deserve" it - true or not is another story),
- Wagner commanders say they fight (back) against US in local wars...
(who's mentality they reflect, do you think? See Project Meatgrinder/RL interview)
- He ordered poisoning of "traitors" (who happened to be threats to his system) #Skripal #Litvinenko (the list is very long though & includes people inside Russia systematically as well, but, of course is unknown to the large public - yet, there are Russians who know and reply something like "they got what they deserve". Mentality...)
- he raised the economy (together with his & his cronies personal incomes - but he gives people something!!!right? - the concept of crumbs from king's table?),
- he said he'd change/abolish USSR dissolution, as most of the Russians are dreaming about it (post imperial syndrome - see Levada polls, he just responded to their main gripe, he knows his public/voters, they "get" him, he "gets" them),
- his KGB/FSB, Electoral Commission, Judges do "order" according to his instructions (law can wait? For the sake of "order"?),
- try not to vote for him... Would you vote in a USSR Embassy against the Communist party in the past? No way! (all travel records/passport controls are still, now, in FSB(KGB) control, consular registration is supervised too & I'd speculate about cameras at polling, but there is just no need to put them and speculate about them - people are afraid enough, even without all that, just like in USSR times. Common, we lived those times.)
- he builds roads over Radio, not everywhere though... (do your google search - & you ask what is populism???)
- "not his" and not Gazprom (NordStream2) et Co TVs tell people all of the above "successes" every single day - he even keeps one "opposition" TV alive to prove how democratic he is & he is shirtless!!! Oh, and he is a tough guy who would fix or reject that "Gayropa" (Gay-Europe! All of Europe being shown as gay to backward and conservative people. As if Russian TV concerts are not full of them? No? And US is included in Gayropa concept, if you didn't know, for free. As a matter of importance or tolerance, probably)
- After the "chaos" of democracy by Yeltsin, what's not to "understand"?! ("strong hand" concept came in... handy, pun intended, well placed over local mentalities, but never left, so no one ever saw what democracy is. But who cares, because...)
Not by itself, manipulated mentality, but...
P.S. Also read about Chingiz Aitmatov Epic of Manas "mankurt" concept.