The Kremlin will face a new Navalny, protected by a force field of Western public opinion.
Far from a purely internal or external affair, Alexei Navalny’s poisoning has shaken Russia’s domestic politics as well as its foreign relations. Although it is closer to its beginning than its end, the affair sheds light on the degradation of authoritarianism in Russia, the dynamic between Moscow and an embattled Alexander Lukashenko, and the difficult relations between Russia and the West, especially Germany.
In Russia and Belarus, civil societies are uniting faster than the two countries themselves.
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.
Telegram, launched in 2013, has long bothered the government not just because of its sophisticated encryption technique, but also because it quickly became an important platform of political discussion.
Putin is using the upcoming public vote on changing the constitution to make ordinary people his accomplices in the process of extending his rule and sanctioning the predominance of an ultraconservative ideology.
In trying to shirk responsibility for the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, the Russian leadership is destroying the loyal majority it spent years building.
The foundation of the current Kremlin ideology is a defensive narrative: that we have always been attacked and forced to defend ourselves. Another line of defense is history.
Whereas Mikhail Gorbachev granted his people freedom and suffered a crushing personal defeat, Vladimir Putin is doing exactly the opposite. But, in the end, it is Putin's legacy that will suffer, and Gorbachev who will be redeemed.
For President Vladimir Putin and the Russian leadership, history—in particular, key events of World War II and the Stalin era—are increasingly a political weapon used to legitimize their rule and mobilize the Russian public. As a result, many Russians are now collectively forgetting historical events that were common knowledge two decades ago.