Russian Ideology

13.05.2016

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.
28.04.2016

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.
21.03.2016

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.
21.03.2016

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.
9.03.2016

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.
26.02.2016

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.
15.02.2016

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.
22.01.2016

Russia’s Waiting Room

The Russian system is in a crisis whose outcome is uncertain. But social protest is unlikely to deliver change. Change is more likely to come about through modernization from above.
17.12.2015

Russian Truckers Shout, the State is Silent

Truck drivers have staged the biggest anti-government protest in Russia since 2012. But the logic of their discontent is one they are so far unprepared to accept: that the whole political system is at fault.
1.12.2015

Where Does the Truck Stop? Russia’s New Social Protests

The strikes by Russian truckers are a new challenge for the Kremlin and represent a breach of the government’s social contract with its citizens. But the regime has learned how to deal with these protests and how to stop them from becoming politicized.
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