Russian Ideology

12.10.2018

Chavismo, Russian Style: The Winners of Russia’s Regional Elections

The opposition victors in Russian regional elections were not anti-establishment liberals but traditionalists and paternalists, unhappy with the Kremlin’s modernization agenda.
8.10.2018

Far East Defeat: How the Kremlin Lost an Election

The Kremlin’s chosen candidate lost the gubernatorial race in Russia’s Primorsky region. In part, that can be chalked up to local economic and political conditions. But while the Primorsky loss might seem like an outlier now, it may also foreshadow problems that the Russian regime will encounter as the country moves into the 2020s.
5.10.2018

A Tactical Retreat: The Kremlin Reins in a War on Online Extremism

A crackdown on online “extremism” has drawn rare resistance from both the Russian public and the political elite, forcing the Kremlin to support changes to the country’s main anti-extremism law.
2.10.2018

System Failure in Russia: The Elections That Didn’t Go as Planned

The Kremlin obviously understands that elections held under the old rules will result in more defeats. The rules, therefore, will have to change. Just like in 2013–2014, when opposition candidates started winning mayoral elections, the Kremlin first welcomed their victory, but then dispatched local legislatures to scrap mayoral elections altogether. They remain in just seven out of 83 regional centers. A similar fate may now await gubernatorial elections.
14.09.2018

Depoliticization in Russia: The Growth of the Protest Vote

Unhappy with plans to raise the retirement age, the decline in their living standards, and tax hikes, Russians can’t vote for the real opposition. Strong candidates are either not allowed to run or prefer to cooperate with the authorities by not running, while in-system parties deliberately tone down their rhetoric. Under such conditions, the protest vote becomes random: people are willing to vote for anyone but the ruling regime candidates.
6.07.2018

The Doors are Still Closing: Russia and the World Cup

Russia has opened its doors to thousands of foreigners for the World Cup, but the realities of Putin’s Russia are bigger than the feel-good spirit provided by the football.
19.06.2018

A Russian Writes to European Friends

There are several misperceptions about Russia that make relations with Europe worse than they need to be. Acknowledging these illusions is the first step to Russia and Europe being able to understand each other.
21.05.2018

For Navalny, Foreign and Domestic Policy Are One

Alexei Navalny believes that Russia spends too much effort and money on foreign adventures. Yet he cleaves to many establishment ideas about Russia’s role in its neighborhood and is far from advocating the kind of rapprochement with the West for which many foreign observers hope.
20.04.2018

Permanent Stagnation: Putin’s Invisible Fourth-Term Agenda

The symbolic and real dimensions of Russian politics are in radical contradiction of each other.
18.04.2018

Moral Protests: How Citizens are Born in Russia

It’s a cliché in the Western discussion about Russia to portray Putin as a god-like force in Russian life who demands unfailing obedience from oligarchs and little people alike. Yet recent spontaneous protests in Siberia and a small town near Moscow show how quickly average citizens can mobilize to rail against injustice and the stunning incompetence of their country’s rulers.
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