20 Years of Leading Analysis

Life after the Russian Presidential Election

Source: Getty
Article
Summary
Vladimir Putin secured his return to power in Sunday’s Russian presidential election. Though that result came as no surprise, the issue of what will come next for Russia is still an open question.
Related Media and Tools
 

Vladimir Putin secured his return to power in Sunday’s Russian presidential election. Though that result came as no surprise, the issue of what will come next for Russia is still an open question.

I would not exclude the possibility that victorious Putin might want to exact some kind of revenge and punish his opponents for all their criticism, protests, and general disobedience. The increased pressure on the Russian mass media, the search for terrorists plotting to eliminate the leading candidate on the eve of the election, and Putin’s statement on the opposition’s possible plans to assassinate some well-known politician in order to provoke unrest in the country all underscore the likelihood of this outcome.

Malashenko is the chair of the Carnegie Moscow Center’s Religion, Society, and Security Program. He also taught at the Higher School of Economics from 2007 to 2008 and was a professor at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations from 2000 to 2006.
Alexey Malashenko
Scholar in Residence
Religion, Society, and Security Program
Moscow Center
More from this author...
A harsher response from the authorities to ongoing protests against fraud and violations in the presidential election is possible as well. Frightened by the thought of a second round of voting, the authorities pulled out all the stops over the weekend and many election violations were reported.

The Kremlin will also continue to crack down on the Russian mass media, especially on electronic outlets—and it might even tighten its grip. Ninety-nine percent of all television programs will remain the official powers’ sanctuaries. The authorities will also continue their search for means by which to turn up the heat on Internet discussions. Studying China’s and Iran’s success in this area keeps Russian law-enforcement officials up at night.

If this proves to be the Russian authorities’ response to the recent events, it would appear that the state is having a “nervous breakdown” of sorts. There are certainly plenty nervous people in the Kremlin right now.

What should we expect in the more distant future?

All the political reforms announced by now-outgoing president Dmitri Medvedev—such as direct elections of regional governors and amendments to the election code—will commence. However, all these reforms are tactical rather than strategic. They reflect the ruling class’s overarching goal of preserving its power at all costs—even if that power has to be retouched a bit with vague democratic strokes.

The party system will be reformed, resulting in the disappearance of the unpopular, heavy-handed United Russia, which looks to have worn out its welcome. New political parties, including some liberal parties, will replace the outdated, outspent organizations, and the Communist Party will be partially reconstructed.

The issue of the Kremlin’s relations with the “informal opposition” will be resolved according to the opposition’s willingness to play by the Kremlin’s rules. If some of the opposition leaders abide by the rules, they will later be allowed into the State Duma. New starts and starlets will also appear on Russia’s political horizon.

I believe that the most important issue will be whether the current ruling class realizes that Russian society has gone through fundamental and possibly irreversible changes, that the old way of governing the state has become ineffective and largely useless. While Putin has returned as president of Russia, “Putinism” as a model of state governance, designed to serve one person whose authority was based on a small clan of close associates, is no more.

End of document

Comments

 
 
Source http://carnegie.ru/2012/03/07/life-after-russian-presidential-election/ajqm

Putin Returns

In Fact

 

81%

of Brazilian protesters

learned about a massive rally via Facebook or Twitter.

32

million cases pending

in India’s judicial system.

1 in 3

Syrians

now needs urgent assistance.

370

political parties

contested India’s last national elections.

70%

of Egypt's labor force

works in the private sector.

58

years ago

Carnegie began an internship program. Notable alumni include Samantha Power.

70%

of oil consumed in the United States

is for the transportation sector.

20%

of Chechnya’s pre-1994 population

has fled to different parts of the world.

58%

of oil consumed in China

was from foreign sources in 2012.

50%

of Syria’s population

is expected to be displaced by the end of 2013.

20

million people killed

in Cold War conflicts.

18%

of the U.S. economy

is consumed by healthcare.

$536

billion in goods and services

traded between the United States and China in 2012.

$100

billion in foreign investment and oil revenue

have been lost by Iran because of its nuclear program.

4700%

increase in China’s GDP per capita

between 1972 and today.

$11

billion have been spent

to complete the Bushehr nuclear reactor in Iran.

2%

of Iran’s electricity needs

is all the Bushehr nuclear reactor provides.

82

new airports

are set to be built in China by 2015.

78

journalists

were imprisoned in Turkey as of August 2012 according to the OSCE.

67%

of the world's population

will reside in cities by 2050.

16

million Russian citizens

are considered “ethnic Muslims.”

Stay In The Know

Enter your email address to receive the latest Carnegie analysis in your inbox!

Personal Information
 
 
Carnegie Moscow Center
 
16/2 Tverskaya Moscow, 125009 Russia
Phone: +7 495 935-8904 Fax: +7 495 935-8906
Please note...

You are leaving the Carnegie–Tsinghua Center for Global Policy's website and entering another Carnegie global site.

请注意...

你将离开清华—卡内基中心网站,进入卡内基其他全球中心的网站。