Vladimir Putin’s anger and jealousy has taken down many proactive leaders throughout Russia – and left the country vulnerable to crisis. The oil price war against Saudi Arabia backfired, and a recession was already in motion when coronavirus hit the country.
is an investigative journalist and expert on the Russian security services. She is co-founder and co-editor, together with Andrei Soldatov, of Agentura.Ru. Russia in Global Dialogue Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, November–December 2016. Co-Publications: The New Nobility: The Restoration of Russia’s Security State and the Enduring Legacy of the KGB, PublicAffairs, 2010; and The Red Web: The Struggle Between Russia’s Digital Dictators and the New Online Revolutionaries, PublicAffairs, 2015.
Many Russians were happy to exchange the freedoms of the 1990s for a stream of oil money and a concept of ‘order’ guaranteed by a paternalistic leader. Putin’s popularity may be wavering, but the demands he caters to are stronger than ever.
Not content with controlling service providers and intimidating users, the Kremlin is turning to China for technology to filter Russian cyberspace. Beijing is all too willing to lend a hand.
Russian hackers were able to interfere in the US election because of public receptivity to anti-establishment messages. Investigative journalists Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan argue that distrust in traditional media provides fertile ground for Russian disinformation.