Society and Regions

The program examines the evolution of Russian civil society and relations between citizens and various levels of government, in the context of the economic, social and political development of Russia’s regions. Since 2005, the program has conducted ongoing monitoring of the democratic development of Russia’s regions, with reports regularly published on a dedicated website.

    • Commentary

    Bullying the Big Cities: The Kremlin’s New Approach

    The regional unification of record-high presidential election results has closed the Kremlin bureaucrats’ eyes to the diversity of different parts of the country, their elites, and the preferences of their electorates. In this model, regional masters of balance and public politics are extraneous. But the expulsion of old regional barons is risky: the banner of public pushback and local patriotism could be picked up by new regional politicians who might be even less convenient for Moscow.

    • Commentary

    Protests in Russia’s Far East Reveal the Dangers of Overcentralization

    In theory, the seizure of a greater share of Sakhalin’s resource wealth by the federal authorities could lead to a fairer distribution of wealth throughout the Russian Far East. The fear, however, is that further centralization of budgetary revenues will merely encourage the pursuit of vanity projects that will not come to fruition for over a decade, if ever.

    • Op-Ed

    Meet the Second-Rate Academic Who Is Vladimir Putin’s Culture Cop

    Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky’s primary motive is to curry favor with Vladimir Putin. As Putin has shifted gears to a more conservative, anti-Western, and isolationist outlook, scores of his aggressive loyalists have followed the new trend.

    • Commentary

    The Russian State Power and the Ukrainian Human Factor

    Russia will likely succeed in holding sway over Ukraine and turning this country into its buffer zone, but it cannot secure itself from the people’s resentment and resistance.

    • Commentary

    Putin’s Crimean Conquest Pushes Russia to an Anti-Modernization Course

    The seizure of Crimea is Putin’s personal conquest, as well as a dramatic reinforcement of his regime of personal power. For now Putin has succeeded in halting Russia’s social and economic modernization and has pushed Russia to an anti-modernization course.

    • TV/Radio Broadcast

    Putin Addresses Parliament on Crimea Independence

    Vladimir Putin’s policy is to do what he sees right, regardless of what others think about it. He is ready for sanctions and to accept the costs.

    • Commentary

    The End of Free Press in Russia

    The Ukrainian crisis has intensified the Kremlin’s crackdown on the Russian media. Nongovernment media simply no longer belong in today’s Russia.

    • TV/Radio Broadcast

    Putin Says “No Need for Use of Force” in Ukraine

    It seems unlikely that Russian armed forces will move beyond the Crimean peninsula. The softer and more conciliatory tone taken by Putin could be a result of the determination of the United States and Europe to take action against Russia.

    • TV/Radio Broadcast

    Situation in Ukraine

    The situation in Ukraine is very unstable and dangerous, and Moscow's support of the delayed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and non-recognition of the new authorities in Kyiv only adds to the tension.

    • TV/Radio Broadcast

    Ukraine Caught in a “Zero-Sum” Game

    Russia and the EU are trying to pull Ukraine into their orbit rather than cooperating on what would be best for the country.

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