Vladimir Putin’s new presidential term is just beginning, but it increasingly looks like the beginning of the end. Whenever Russia’s people pour into the streets en masse, as they currently are doing, from that point on things never work out well for the authorities.
In 1917, Russian Emperor Nicholas II had to abdicate in the [...]
What happens, in other words, is that a paralysis sets in: Those in power see compromise as weakness, while those forced onto the streets by its absence see it as selling out. And the more each side digs in, the less a constructive solution becomes possible. The only way out becomes a revolution and the [...]
Can Washington have a working relationship with a Russian leader who thinks Americans are out to destroy him? After a week of listening to official anti-American rhetoric on a visit to Moscow, I find it hard to see how.
Vladimir Putin, newly elected to a third presidential term (after an interval as prime minister), has [...]
Yevgeny Gontmakher, a sociologist at Moscow’s Institute of Contemporary Development, recently suggested Russia could soon be on the brink of a revolution similar to that of 1917.
“The political machine built by Putin was effective in some places until 2007,” he wrote in an article in Nezavismaya Gazeta, “but the regime has started to malfunction, [...]
What it does face, however, is enormous, inchoate rural unrest. The dark side of China’s economic rise has been a shocking widening of the gulf between the prosperous coast and the poverty-stricken interior, a flourishing of corruption among local officials and, by such data as we can gather, widespread anger and discontent. The government has [...]
The history of successive authoritarian regimes in Russia reveals a recurring pattern: They do not die from external blows or domestic insurgencies. Instead, they tend to collapse from a strange internal malady — a combination of the elites’ encroaching disgust with themselves and a realization that the regime is exhausted. The illness resembles a political version of Jean-Paul Sartre’s existential nausea and led to both the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and the Soviet Union’s [...]
Some Russian analysts are warning that if Mr. Putin persists in this autocracy-as-usual approach he could provoke an even bigger uprising by Russians, who have already gathered for the largest demonstrations since the collapse of the Soviet Union. But to judge from the official media, if the president perceives a threat, he attributes it to [...]
Vladimir Putin, after eight years as president of Russia and four more as prime minister, is stubbornly holding onto power. He has announced his intention to return as president and declared his party the winner in parliamentary elections that are widely seen as fraudulent. In Moscow 100,000 protesters have taken to the streets in the [...]
But what has really brought the protesters out into the streets is not a lack of economic diversification but rather pervasive corruption. Perfected at the highest levels of Russian government, and most notably expressed in the Yukos and Magnitsky cases, the average citizen has experienced the brutality of corruption carried out [...]