Russian society is waking up and pushing back against Vladimir Putin’s brand of authoritarianism, which it had generally accepted in the previous decade, according to a new paper from the Carnegie Moscow Center. It argues that this awakening has the potential to transform the system into one based on the rule of law. But continued pressure for change from below, an inclusive political process, and responsible behavior at the top are needed before Russia can truly cross into modernity. Which elements of Russian society are leaning toward transformation? And what can Western policymakers do to help Russia transform and become an equal partner on the international stage?

Dmitri Trenin discussed the new paper The Russian Awakening, which details the growing Russian crisis under Putin, and the responsibilities of Western policymakers to help the transformation. Carnegie’s Ambassador James F. Collins moderated.