• Commentary

    The Illusion of Control: The Kremlin Prepares for Falling Ratings

    However resilient the Putin regime might look to an outsider, it isn’t ready and isn’t preparing itself for a possible decline in its popularity ratings, which may unleash consequences beyond the fall of individual governors and the ruling United Russia party. The Kremlin doesn’t believe that Vladimir Putin and the Russian regime as a whole could become unpopular, so it considers the current decline in support for the government to be a natural and manageable outcome of the recent increase in the retirement age.

    • Quick Take

    Is Putin Less Popular?

    Is Putin losing his touch? A new poll suggests that pension reform has damaged his approval ratings.

    • Commentary

    Why Russia’s Crimean Consensus Is Over (And What Comes Next)

    The largest coalition of support for the Russian regime in modern history is over. Due to the fusion of the ruling elite and business, the Russian authorities have no one left to blame for poverty and falling standards of living besides themselves. But the government may have one last trick up its sleeve: repression.

    • Commentary

    Russia’s Youtube Duel: Zolotov vs. Navalny

    Viktor Zolotov’s video message to Alexei Navalny—a crude and highly personal address for an influential national security official—underscores the increasing incoherence of the authorities’ strategy for dealing with Navalny. More important, it points to the emergence of a state of “every man for himself” and the splintering of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.

    • Commentary

    Why Putin Is Losing Popular Support

    The approval ratings of Russia’s leaders and its institutions have been declining for more than three years. The erosion of popular support has been accelerated, rather than caused, by the unveiling of the government’s pension reform plan, and Russians are increasingly concerned by the state of not only their pensions but also their country’s foreign policy and its economy

    • Op-Ed

    Saving Colonel Putin: Why Russia’s Pension Reform Just Got More Expensive

    Putin’s formula for pension reform might allow him to stem his political losses. Even if his ratings don’t grow, they might at least stop falling. But the cost of saving Colonel Putin will turn out to be exorbitantly high for the budget and the economy.

    • Commentary

    Russia’s Empty Throne: Why Putin Manufactures Political Uncertainty

    The less specific presidential orders are, the greater the speculation about what Putin actually wants done. This deliberate vagueness allows the president to see more clearly both the new power balance and the political material he will have to deal with in the next six years.

    • Op-Ed

    Why Putin’s Approval Ratings Are Declining Sharply

    Putin’s successful foreign policy agenda is starting to lose its power to command public support in the face of growing domestic frustrations.

    • Commentary

    Why Russia Can’t Build the Political Infrastructure It Needs

    Public discontent over a plan to raise Russia’s pension age has revealed a critical flaw in the country’s political system: there is no political infrastructure that can function in crisis conditions. Only President Vladimir Putin can speak on behalf of the state. Without him, the vertical collapses. Russia desperately needs alternative connections between the state and the people. But virtually any political infrastructure project fundamentally undermines the country’s power vertical.

    • Commentary

    Illusory Stability: Putin’s Regime Is Readier Than Ever for Change

    The events of the last four years in Russia show that its fabled stability and lack of change have stopped being the top political value. Today, the Russian regime is more ready than ever for transformation. Before, any decisions had to be approved by the president and were made at a snail’s pace because Putin had no time. Now, it’s the other way around: decisions are made quickly precisely because Putin has no time.

Carnegie Experts on

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    Alexander Baunov
    Senior Fellow
    Editor in Chief of
    Carnegie Moscow Center
    Baunov is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Moscow Center and editor in chief of
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    Konstantin Gaaze
    Konstantin Gaaze is a sociologist, and a journalist.
  • expert thumbnail - Kolesnikov
    Andrei Kolesnikov
    Senior Fellow and Chair
    Russian Domestic Politics and Political Institutions Program
    Carnegie Moscow Center
    Kolesnikov is a senior fellow and the chair of the Russian Domestic Politics and Political Institutions Program at the Carnegie Moscow Center.
  • expert thumbnail - Movchan
    Andrey Movchan
    Nonresident Scholar
    Economic Policy Program
    Carnegie Moscow Center
    Movchan is a nonresident scholar in the Economic Policy Program at the Carnegie Moscow Center.
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    Maxim Samorukov
    Deputy Editor of
    Carnegie Moscow Center
    Samorukov is a fellow at the Carnegie Moscow Center and deputy editor of
  • expert thumbnail - Stanovaya
    Tatiana Stanovaya
    Nonresident Scholar
    Carnegie Moscow Center
    Tatiana Stanovaya is a nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Moscow Center.

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