Russians have been so obsessed with Ukraine for five years to the point of forgetting about their own country’s problems, says analyst Liliya Shevtsova (below, left. HT: Paul Goble) and Moscow has done what it can to keep Russia at the center of Ukraine’s reality. But as the election of Vladimir Zelensky shows Ukraine has gotten over Russia. The question is: can Russia get over Ukraine?
The obsession with Ukraine shows that Russia has no idea about how to consolidate itself, and it shows that hostility to Ukraine has become “an instrument for the legitimation of the authorities” ….. “Poroshenko’s defeat is described by Kremlin interpreters as a systemic failure,” adds Shevtsova, a member of the Editorial Board of the National Endowment for Democracy’s Journal of Democracy. They cannot understand that the exit of one leader and the entrance of another as a result of elections speaks to the vitality of the system: Ukrainians have won the right to choose leaders, they have the right to make errors and to correct them again through elections.”
These Russian commentators can’t understand “how Ukrainians can live without a harsh ‘vertical’ telling them how to live” – just as Ukrainians can’t understand how Russians are willing to live under its diktat.
In the September 2018 gubernatorial elections, several regions throughout Russia rejected pro-Kremlin candidates. In fact, Russia’s regions appear to have grown increasingly dissatisfied with a number of federal policies and increasing economic stagnation. The latest statistical analysis offers insights into which factors might hinder or contribute to the election of pro-Kremlin candidates in the regions and tools to forecast future voting patterns outside the capital.
Thursday, May 2, 2019
5th Floor Conference Room
Ronald Reagan Building and
International Trade Center
One Woodrow Wilson Plaza
1300 Pennsylvania, Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20004