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Fathers and sons: a generational gap in the Russian opposition?

As Putin’s new government beds in and shows its teeth against the protesters, Dmitry Travin takes a look at the generational differences among the opposition. Life experience makes many of the older generation more weary of street protest, yet on other fronts people are beginning to speak with one voice. 

Big business under threat in Putin’s Russia?

A new president could be a new start and hope for the future, but Putin’s return to the presidency signals stagnation, rather than stability. The liberal and conservative elites are at loggerheads and the new wave of privatisation in the oil and gas sector will only exacerbate the problem, says Shamil Yenikeyeff

Vlad Putin and the loneliness of the long distance president

Vladimir Putin unexpectedly pulled out of last weekend’s G8 summit in the USA, sending Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in his place. He gave as his reason the need to finish work setting up his new cabinet, but eminent Moscow journalist and music critic Artemy Troitsky has another explanation for the president’s change of plan.

How Moscow protesters turned from angry urbanites into enraged citizens

Vladimir Putin’s swearing-in as President last week was accompanied by protest rallies that were brutally broken up by police, and their organisers imprisoned. But as the Occupy Abay sit-in and organised ‘strolls’ through the centre of Moscow have shown, protesters are gaining confidence and adopting new tactics. Journalist Tikhon Dzyadko, who was himself hurt in the recent clashes, reports.   

The cosmonauts have landed: tales from an occupied Moscow

Russia has a newly inaugurated president, but its capital has been shaken by two days of unexpected violence and arrests. Writer Lev Rubinstein was drinking coffee in a downtown Moscow cafe popular with the city’s intelligentsia when riot police arrived, cleared the building, and arrested a number of the customers. This is hardly the behaviour of a confident and legitimate government, he contends.

Putin returns, but will Russia revert to ‘virtual democracy’?

As Vladimir Putin embarks on his third presidential term, the inevitable question must be how long he will be able to use old techniques, political technologies, to keep the lid on the pressure cooker of discontent. In the new situation the political and economic cost to Putin of continued repression is considerably higher, but, most importantly, the Grand Illusion, which kept the ratings high, is now over, says Andrew Wilson

Crisis planning: which way forward for Putin’s regime?

The elections are over; the protests continue, though in muted form. Russia’s way forward is not solely a matter of internal politics, but closely linked with Europe’s economic problems. So far Putin has been protected by high oil prices, but he could still prove to be dangerously weak, and what then? Dmitri Travin considers the options

Why the opposition lost to Putin

As Russia's opposition comes to terms with Sunday's results, the time has come for sober reflection. The conclusions are clear, if uncomfortable: Putin is back, and he may well be in for a long time.

An election, or a declaration of war?

Amid growing proof of ‘dirty tricks’ during Sunday’s presidential election, the new Russian government has made it clear that the opposition can expect no concessions. Protesters at rallies in Moscow and St Petersburg have been arrested and subjected to police brutality. Tikhon Dzyadko, a journalist who was at the Moscow rally, looks back at the events of the last few days and considers the future for the protest movement.

Russia: farewell to 'national unity'

Vladimir Putin may have won Sunday’s presidential election, but his new term is unlikely to be an easy one. Russia has changed: the middle classes surf the Internet, compare themselves not to their parents but to their contemporaries in the rest of Europe, and demand change. Meanwhile, writes Andrey Makarychev, the Kremlin is incapable for moving with the times.

Moscow on the eve of the presidential election

Rustem Adagamov, writing under the name Drugoi, is Russia’s most popular political blogger. At one time a fan of President Medvedev, who appeared to embrace the Russian internet and its young, dynamic class of active users, Adagamov was brought into the Kremlin fold and given access to cover important events in Medvedev’s schedule. Here he outlines how his trust in the outgoing president vanished and sums up the mood in Russia’s capital just days ahead of the country’s presidential election.

Vladimir Putin: his place in history

Vladimir Putin’s one great achievement is the restoration of bureaucratic order after its near destruction by Gorbachev and privatisation by Yeltsin. Yet the end game is fast approaching, and the longer Putin clings on, the more likely he will be instead remembered for letting greedy friends and bureaucrats run amok, writes Vladimir Pastukhov

The Akunin-Navalny interviews: part III

Politician-blogger Alexei Navalny and writer Grigory Chkhartishvili (a.k.a Boris Akunin) conclude their dialogue with an exploration of what their country might look like after democratic change. What should be the priorities for a new and free Russia?

After the Duma election: where is Russia heading?

Last Wednesday oDR and the Russia Foundation held a roundtable event reflecting on the country's disputed parliamentary elections. The audience was addressed by eminent Russian journalist Mikhail Fishman and experts Prof. Vladimir Gelman and Dr. Andrew Wilson. Here we present full video highlights.

Medvedev, the phantom president

The recent Putin-Medvedev announcement has made a lame duck of President Medvedev, who clearly no longer has any significant say in matters political or economic. But did he ever? Were Russians not just going along with the deception, as older children do to get presents from Santa Claus, in whom they no longer believe? Michael Baron uses an unusual business performance analysis method to consider the question.

Secret mice and liberal hallucinations (or why the fatherland and freedom are strategically incompatible)

The liberals' reaction to President Medvedev’s voluntary political suicide might well be described as ‘gloating disillusion.' For Daniil Kotsyubinsky, the surprising thing was some believed democratic evolution was a real possibility.

Same Putin, different Russia

Putin could theoretically remain in power until 2024. But his plans could be undermined by the change in generations: with male life expectancy at just 59, society will soon be un-Soviet. Most people will have grown up in a completely different age and will not be content to be stuck with post-Soviet dinosaurs and their system, says Ben Judah

Putin/Medvedev: be careful what you wish for…

Putin’s announcement that he and Medvedev had decided long ago who would be president in 2012 has caused a furore in Russia and abroad. It will be disastrous for Russia and Putin will almost certainly find he has made a rod for his own back, says Kirill Rogov

The tandem: hope against hope dashed!

The presidential election is still 6 months away, but speculation about who would stand i.e become president had reached fever pitch. A section of society really hoped that Medvedev would continue his liberal policies, even though signs that this could happen were few and far between. Now there is clarity – and disappointment, says Alexei Levinson

A Putative president for Russia, in for life...

Putin’s recent announcement that he would be “standing for” president caught people off guard, as it was intended to. For Andrei Piontkovsky, it was a disgusting spectacle and test of the Russian people that will almost certainly end badly.

Epilogue: a minister falls

The resignation of Russia's finance minister Aleksey Kudrin is a much more significant event than the Putin-Medvedev reshuffle, says Dmitry Travin. Kudrin's cool foresight was the driving force behind Russia’s economic resurgence of the early 2000s, and the main reason why the country avoided total collapse during the later Credit Crunch.

The golden ticket: voting for Matviyenko

When St Petersburg journalist Alexandra Garmazhapova attended a closed meeting in the local district administration, she became privy to a secret operation to maximize the vote for outgoing governor Valentina Matviyenko in Sunday’s municipal elections [which have themselves been designed to propel Matviyenko to a new job in the Senate]. Garmazhapova wrote what she saw and heard, and published it on the Russian website The story was taken down within four hours, and she resigned. We republish the article in full.

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