Russia has entered a new period in its political history and protests are likely to continue long after the election results are in.
It is not enough to urge Vladimir Putin to leave office. The Russian opposition must also seek the elimination of the autocratic model of power that Putin represents, and push for real constitutional political reform.
Without major political and social changes, Russia risks complete disintegration. Transforming Russia requires eliminating personalized power, the merger of state and business, and the country's imperial ambitions.
The problem with Putin’s vision for modernizing Russia’s military is that it rests on the misplaced belief that the United States is still the country’s principal adversary.
Vladimir Putin cannot survive a sustained, nonviolent protest movement unless he creates a regime change by changing himself and addressing corporate influence on politics.
The reshuffling of the board of Russia's liberal radio station Ekho Moskvy illustrates that Putin's government is becoming increasingly intolerant of criticism.
Putin’s regime cannot maintain power within a liberal political atmosphere. In order to maintain control, the regime is likely to tighten its grip on power and reducing freedoms.
Russia has been in a post-empire state for the last 20 years. There is no way back to an empire now—Russia has passed the point of no return in this respect.
As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a nuclear power, Russia has substantial leverage in the post-Soviet space and is the EU's most important neighbor. However, in the coming decades Russia will face serious internal and international challenges.
The latest anti-government protest in Moscow on February 4 is further evidence that Putin's legitimacy is slowly eroding.