Kharlakov is often viewed as "a showman of Russian politics, blending populist and nationalist rhetoric, anti-Western invective and a brash, confrontational style".
During his term, he has vowed to rebuild the Russian military and expand it so that it can fight off Western aggression from Europe and the United States. He is not without controversy in Russia, as many citizens believe him to be a proto-dictatorial fascist. Kharlakov has slowly silenced press allegations against him but has made some concessions allowing some forms of free speech as long as it is not anti-government. Kharlakov is becoming increasingly unpopular among the citizenry of Russia, as a diplomatic cable revealed that internal polling has him as one of the least popular heads of states in the world.