Domestic Geopolitics: Belarusian Protests and Russia’s Power Transition

Any internal political activity is becoming conclusively geopoliticized. Elections in Belarus or Russia, for example, are not an expression of feedback between the public and the government, but an act of defensive foreign policy.

Russia’s Permanent Revolution of Dignity

Each new wave of Russian protests since 2011—whether political or initially depoliticized (over landfills, housing development projects and so on)—is at heart prompted by an insult to people’s dignity.

Russia’s In-System Opposition Gets Second Chance in Khabarovsk

In appointing LDPR deputy Degtyarev as the new governor of Khabarovsk, Putin is not promoting one of his own men, but making the LDPR responsible for extinguishing the fire of discontent raging in the region.

The Taming of the Elite: Putin’s Referendum

Putin’s attempt to renew his mandate in the July 1 constitutional plebiscite is a challenge to those who surround him and a rejection of Russia’s changing reality. Essentially, he is banning his associates from looking around for a successor and from discussing their own future.

Postviral Complications: What Next for the Russian Regime?

Russia is rapidly approaching a situation in which the public will lose the right to decide anything once and for all, because the authorities simply have no remaining political will or the resources to persuade the people.

Why Putin’s Rating Is at a Record Low

Two key mobilizing events—the vote to change the constitution and the Victory Day parade—were supposed to force Russians to temporarily forget about their low incomes and stagnating GDP. The pandemic meant they had to be postponed. Now—as lockdown measures are lifted—the Kremlin is trying to return to the scenario of rallying around the flag.

Putin’s System Has Run Out of Ideas

The current crisis has exposed how the Russian regime has changed in several key ways. It is divided and lacks strategy, and President Putin shows no interest in giving it a new direction.

Russia’s Leaders Are Self-Isolating From Their People

The fight against the new coronavirus in Russia is being led not by politicians oriented on the public mood, but by managers serving their boss. This is why the authorities’ actions appear first insufficient, then excessive; first belated, then premature.

Are Russians Finally Sick of Putin?

Putin’s move to extend his rule beyond its expected end in 2024 has worked against the president. Meanwhile, the new coronavirus and falling ruble have proved more effective than any action by the opposition aimed at damaging Putin’s ratings.

Unstable Putin

Consistency and predictability in Russian politics have all but died. Something extraordinary is unfolding right before people’s eyes: one immutable value (Putin) is destroying another (stability).
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