Russian Ideology


United Russia Primaries Open Pandora’s Box

The primaries have once again highlighted the Kremlin’s domestic policy tactics. First, the administration announces a large project, makes promises, and even begins to deliver on them. Then, fears of failure and loss of control set in, and all work grinds to a halt.

Don’t Rock the Boat: How Long Can Putin Avoid Capsizing?

Some Russian experts are predicting that the current Russian regime will last another ten years. Change is inevitable, but no one can forecast what form it will take. In the short term, the trend is for inertia and no change.

Crossing a Kremlin Red Line: The Attack on RBC

The RBC media group had developed a distinctive line in investigative fact-based journalism, which was much more dangerous to the authorities than radical opinions. It could no longer be tolerated by the Kremlin or supported even by its liberal oligarch owner.

Splits Force Russia’s Opposition to Rethink

It did not need the intervention of the Kremlin for Russia's liberal opposition alliance to fall apart. A clash of personalities and ambitions looks to have doomed the alliance before the parliamentary election campaign has even got underway.

The Static Regime: Russia’s Reversion from Popular Autocracy

Russia has generally been a static autocracy throughout its history, rejecting the dynamic popular activism of Mao’s China or revolutionary China. The hybrid war in the Donbas was the occasion for a flirtation with extreme politics led from below. But the Kremlin has reverted to the norm, sensing the danger of giving its most loyal supporters too much power.

Two Years After Crimea: The Evolution of a Political Regime

The system, its leader, and the popular majority formed after Crimea will survive the 2018 presidential election. The existing regime is incapable of democratization. At the same time, it is dangerous to ratchet up repression. The government is trying to encourage inertia, but this is becoming increasingly difficult after Crimea, Donbas, Syria, and Turkey. Aggression is self-perpetuating.

Spinning Russia’s Syria Exit

Russian television has thrived for months on a diet of victories in Syria. Now that the time has come to spin the news of a withdrawal, the argument is being deployed that it is best to avoid a second Afghanistan. Better still, the exit is being presented as another case of Russia outsmarting the United States.

Russia’s New Election Tactics: Why the Kremlin No Longer Needs Ballot-Stuffing

Numerous clever tricks and a slew of political parties loyal to Russia’s government now ensure the “right” election result long before any votes are cast. And this means that the election count can be shown to be fair, and at the same time managed by individuals who are widely trusted and respected.

Russia’s Schism: One Year After Boris Nemtsov’s Murder

The assassination one year ago of the man who was once Russia’s brightest liberal hope did not, as many wished, change the course of the country’s politics. But it did mark a moment of irreversible change for the country’s liberal minority.

The Pope and the Patriarch: Russia’s Search for the Right West

The Western political establishment is hostile to Russia. This makes it all the more important to demonstrate that the Western religious establishment is more sympathetic. Regardless of Putin’s aims, the meeting between Pope and Patriarch has become a landmark event in the history of Christianity.
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