The instability of the post-Soviet political space has attracted the attention of the global public to events which have occurred in the Newly Independent States (NIS). The Ukrainian presidential elections in 2004 demonstrated that the presidential post remains important when there are weak political parties and an absence of charismatic political leaders. During Kuchma's last years in power, he actively moved closer to the Russia, especially after he was accused of corruption and his domestic popularity decreased. But Ukrainian–Russian relations were accompanied by conflicts regarding the transporting of energy resources, EU and NATO membership discussions, and territorial and language questions. Russia's adamant interest in Ukraine's internal affairs was often referred to as the "Putin doctrine," which included maintaining Russian influence in the post-Soviet political space. Public opinion about Ukraine in Russia was formed exclusively by the Russian mass media, which were under direct or mediated control of the Kremlin.