The changes of 2020–2021 have proven so sweeping and profound that the Russian regime is undergoing a renaissance. Everything is now either pro-regime or anti-regime—i.e., criminal.
The communication channels between the president and society are shrinking. Some events are apparently too important for the president to discuss seriously with the public, while others are uninteresting or unpleasant for him, so they aren’t discussed either, no matter how big those issues might be.
Putin’s willingness to resort to police batons has polarized society and radicalized those who are dissatisfied with his rule. The moral cause of those taking to the streets across Russia is undermining the foundations of the Putin regime.
Mass protests have broken out in Russia once again. Will the end result be any different this time around?
The system is consuming itself, with each part of it trying to survive separately at the expense of its neighbor. In this situation, society is a hostage of the battle for survival, and an expendable component in political experiments.
Any internal political activity is becoming conclusively geopoliticized. Elections in Belarus or Russia, for example, are not an expression of feedback between the public and the government, but an act of defensive foreign policy.
Each new wave of Russian protests since 2011—whether political or initially depoliticized (over landfills, housing development projects and so on)—is at heart prompted by an insult to people’s dignity.
In appointing LDPR deputy Degtyarev as the new governor of Khabarovsk, Putin is not promoting one of his own men, but making the LDPR responsible for extinguishing the fire of discontent raging in the region.
Putin’s attempt to renew his mandate in the July 1 constitutional plebiscite is a challenge to those who surround him and a rejection of Russia’s changing reality. Essentially, he is banning his associates from looking around for a successor and from discussing their own future.
Russia is rapidly approaching a situation in which the public will lose the right to decide anything once and for all, because the authorities simply have no remaining political will or the resources to persuade the people.
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