• Carnegie.ru Commentary

    “We Went Skiing”: How the Kremlin Lost the Ability to Speak Normally

    Russian authorities have nothing else to say because they have lost the ability to communicate either in real or in virtual time, and they have never learned the language of today’s reality. In this reality, not all dissent is political; some of it is a moral stance against dishonesty.

    • Commentary

    How the Sanctions Are Helping Putin

    Having found itself in a lose-lose situation, the West will most probably do nothing—keeping sanctions in place and freezing the situation. The Kremlin will be happy. Russia won’t stop meddling in Ukraine or give up Crimea.

    • Commentary

    Russia Is the House That Vladimir Putin Built – and He’ll Never Abandon It

    By co-opting the masses against the elite, the President Putin has shaped Russia to echo his values and grievances. And now he’s working to secure his legacy.

    • Carnegie.ru Commentary

    Russia’s New Old Wave of Technocratic Governors

    Revitalizing regional governance will only be possible if the Kremlin changes federal budget appropriations to benefit the provinces in addition to appointing ambitious young governors. Recent gubernatorial appointments should thus be seen as little more than a shrewd PR move by Deputy Chief of the Presidential Administration Sergey Kiriyenko and his team.

    • Carnegie.ru Commentary

    Opposition From Within: Russia’s New Counter-Elite

    In political systems that block change through elections, the main guarantee of a regime’s stability is its capacity to absorb a potential counter-elite. At the moment, the regime is preventing any such renewal from occurring. Yet a counter-elite is in the process of formation nonetheless—one that can eventually take Russia in a new direction.

    • Carnegie.ru Commentary

    The Beginning of the End of Russia’s Power Vertical

    Instead of consolidating in the run-up to the 2018 presidential election, Russian elites have started making the structures they manage more autonomous. Uncertain about the future of the system, governors, directors of state-run enterprises, and heads of state bodies are carving out their own personal empires. Once centripetal, the Russian political system is now governed by centrifugal forces.

    • Carnegie.ru Commentary

    Russia Enters a Time of Transition, by Stealth

    There are multiple indications that public support for the ruling regime in Russia is provisional and the country is entering a period of post-Putin transition. Neither the authorities nor the opposition is prepared for it.

    • Carnegie.ru Commentary

    Putin Bides His Time: The Kremlin’s Transition Strategy

    Vladimir Putin’s annual address to the Federation Council typically lets him map out the country’s foreign and domestic policy course for the coming year. Yet Putin’s speech this time—one of his longest and strangest ever—was essentially an admission that he has little sense of what the events of the coming months will bring or how he plans to deal with them.

    • Carnegie.ru Commentary

    Russian Politics in Ruins: What Vyacheslav Volodin Left Behind

    The political system Volodin leaves behind—that is, a system without any real politics—allows the regime the illusion of control. But the system’s domain has been all but reduced to the tiny world of politicians who agree to the Kremlin’s rules. Activists, ambitious players, and most importantly Russian citizens find themselves outside the bounds of politics.

    • Carnegie.ru Commentary

    A Russian Reformer Returns to Power—But What For?

    What will the two recently appointed behind-the-scenes technocrats, Sergei Kiriyenko and Anton Vaino, do in the Kremlin? They will have no say in foreign policy, and even in domestic politics they cannot change course unless the president desires it. It seems that both are awaiting orders. They must have a mission of some sort, a specific project to carry out. But what is it?

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