Russia’s popular vote approving the ‘zeroing’ of Putin’s terms has been hailed by the regime as a triumphant demonstration of trust. Putin’s uncontested status as supreme authority has indeed been reinforced. But will the legitimacy bought by the vote be enough to stem growing uncertainty among elites and declining support among urban constituencies?
Senior associate to PONARS, the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, George Washington University. Maria Lipman is a regular Visiting Fellow at the IWM.
The Kremlin and the media
On coming to power, Vladimir Putin set about restricting the freedoms that Russian media enjoyed under Yeltsin. After the protests of 2011–12, even the smaller-audience media that still pursued editorial independence came under pressure. Recently, a rise in civic activism and the rapid expansion of internet technologies have brought a new vibrancy – although non-government media remain powerless before the Kremlin’s political monopoly.
What Putin's strategy means for Russia
Sanctions on Russia may tip economic stagnation into recession and widen the country’s gap with western nations still further. This time Putin seems to be plying an isolationist course without regard for the consequences, writes Maria Lipman.