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.

Government by Proxy: Putin’s New Appointees

The appointment of a new head to Russia’s development bank VEB is an example of a new technocratic shift to deal with the economic crisis. These technocrats are generally proxies for powerful figures in the elite. Eventually, they could become an elite of their own.

No Longer the People's President: the New Putin

Vladimir Putin has stopped being the charismatic champion of the people and become the champion of the elite. He has changed into Putin the Strategist, focused on geopolitics. Losing interest in the detail of domestic policy, he has become part of the oligarchic system he created.

Putin’s Theater: Signs and Slogans for the Russian Elite

President Putin’s annual national addresses are short of ideas, but serve the purpose of sending signals to the Russian elite. This year, Putin underlined the idea of Russia as a nation under siege.

Warriors vs Merchants: Russia’s Foreign Policy Rivals

Vladimir Putin takes advice from three distinct groups of foreign policy ideologists who can be labeled warriors, merchants, and pious believers. Each of them serves a role, but they have very different views of how Russia should develop.

Re-defining Yalta: Putin at the UN

Putin is laying claim to the legacy of the 1945 Yalta conference. But Russia's attempts to rewrite history to justify its current policies are not working.

Problem-2018 or Putin’s Dilemma

As the Russian economy declines, Vladimir Putin faces a classic choice between greater freedom and more repression

Return of the Russian Tandem

The joint public work-out by Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev sent a political message to the elite and the general public. Loyal professionals are required to deal with the current crisis and the president needs his prime minister again.

How Authentic is Putin’s Approval Rating?

If you look at the entire 15 years that Putin has been in power, rather than just the last year and a half, you can see that this is the fourth time his popularity has soared this high. Furthermore, there are simultaneous changes in various indicators, which makes for a more complicated picture than what most observers see

Why Moscow Opposed Grexit

Putin phoned IMF chief, asking the Europeans to support Athens in any way possible. It is likely that Obama asked to do the same thing: there is no indication that Greece was ever a point of contention between Russia and the United States—despite Greece’s position on the Ukrainian crisis, its anti-Western rhetoric, and Tsipras’ friendship with Putin
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