Survey shows new cracks in pillars of Putin’s rule


Monkey Cage

Repression and fraud are unlikely to be a long-term solution for Vladimir Putin’s ‘power vertical,’ new survey evidence suggests.

Police carried out searches on Wednesday at the Moscow office of the Open Russia opposition group and the homes of several activists running in local elections this weekend, prompting allegations of intimidation, Reuters reports (HT:FDD).


Since the beginning, the Putin system has been built on twin pillars, note analysts Bryn Rosenfeld, Samuel Greene, Jeremy Morris and Grigore Pop-Eleches:

But surveys we conducted this summer reveal that the second pillar is cracking, thanks to a faltering economy, a stubborn pandemic and unease over Putin’s unchecked power, they write for The Post’s Monkey Cage blog:

According to the respected Russian election monitoring group Golos, {forthcoming} elections are likely to be a sham….The Kremlin may prevent these elections from being seriously contested, though opposition activists in a creative Vote Smart movement have picked 1,171 candidates for whom the discontented can vote. …But repression and fraud are unlikely to be a long-term solution for Putin.

One of the strengths of Putin’s regime has always been its ability to balance repression with popular legitimacy, they add. A regime that is able to tolerate the activity of opposition leader Alexei Navalny is stronger than one that tries to murder him.

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