Faced with a pandemic, growing inequality, and widespread dissatisfaction, the Kremlin has launched a series of measures aimed at consolidating Russia’s authoritarian political system. Will they work?
Simultaneous crises in Belarus, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Kyrgyzstan have demonstrated Russia’s maturing approach to its neighborhood. Russia is learning to mind its limitations; to repel residual nostalgia; and to think straight, putting issues before personalities, and staying focused on its own interests, leaving the empire farther and farther behind.
The protest in Russia is becoming increasingly anti-Putin, as the example of Khabarovsk shows. From all flanks, left and right, not specifically liberal.
Russia needs to restore, rather than erase, the memory of the millions of victims of totalitarianism and cease putting it in competition with the memory of those who fell in battle in World War II.
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.