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Tag: Putin

Vladimir the historian: Putin’s political revision of Ukrainian history

For roughly a half a decade now, there has been a radicalising shift in the Kremlin’s understanding of its relations with Ukraine. As Ukraine continues to follow its own path, Vladimir Putin assumes an evermore extreme position that Ukraine, its peoples, language and culture simply do not exist. For Putin, Ukraine has always been and will always be a part of Russia.

Vladimir Putin, Russia’s longest-serving president and champion of post-Soviet stability, has accomplished much over the past 21 years. He has delivered Russia from the economic turmoil left by Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s, fought and won two wars in Chechnya, and brought unprecedented levels of prosperity and technological development to Russia. He has also defended traditional values the world over, once again placing Russia on the map of the world’s great powers at the expense of democracy and a fruitful relationship with the West. Putin has won many titles for this, including that of the most powerful man on earth, a modern dictator, or the greatest Russian.

December 2, 2021 - Joshua Kroeker

The new Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Centre is a Trojan horse for Putin’s hybrid war

An interview with Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern, a historian, philologist and essayist. Interviewers: Aleksander Palikot and Jerzy Sobotta

ALEKSANDER PALIKOT AND JERZY SOBOTTA: You’ve been visiting Babyn Yar since you were very young. The 80th anniversary has just passed. Was it different this time?

YOHANAN PETROVSKY-SHTERN: Most importantly this time there were two different commemorations. Between September 29th and 30th, there was an unofficial or semi-official event. I would have been there too, if not for my Northwestern University teaching commitment. Many people came, including representatives of various public organisations and representatives of different Ukrainian Jewish communities. They paid tribute to the 33,771 Jews massacred at Babyn Yar over two days in September 1941 during the Nazi occupation of Kyiv.

December 2, 2021 - Aleksander Palikot Jerzy Sobotta Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern

Duma non-elections. A carnival of dirty tricks

The course of this year's Russian State Duma elections demonstrates that the Kremlin has finally abandoned the pseudo-democratic game of appearances. In the coming years, a further tightening of the screws is likely. However, instead of complete control over the political system, the government may face a radicalisation of the social protest mood.

September 27, 2021 - Maria Domańska

Russian Duma elections. How promising is the smart voting strategy this time?

This month, United Russia hopes to retain its absolute majority in the State Duma during elections held between September 17th and 19th. Once again, the opposition is trying to make things difficult for Vladimir Putin and his allies by using a “smart voting” strategy. This strategy may have its problems, but it has already caused some headaches for the Kremlin.

September 9, 2021 - Gijs Willem Freriks

The art of constitutional seduction. The 2020 case of Russia

On July 3rd 2020 Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on the official publication of the revised version of the Russian constitution, based on the Russian-wide voting on amending the constitution. The motivation of the process was clear – to allow Putin to stay in power almost indefinitely. Yet it also reveals the legal tricks and manipulation Russian authorities have used to make significant changes to the country’s legal order.

Imagine you are a skilled autocrat ruling over a nation for a long time. Unlike your dim, obsolete neighbours, you have successfully developed a personalist regime without any flagrant constitutional violations or manipulations. Even if you ever engaged in a constitutional modification process, you have always been careful and attentive, even to the tiniest technical issues of such an enterprise. No one can ever question the legitimacy of your previous endeavours because you are the master of legal disguise.

September 7, 2020 - Oleksandr Marusiak

A triumphant referendum?

Russian officials and state media outlets have called Russia’s recent vote on constitutional amendments a “triumph”. What does the result tell us about the state of Russian society? How did Russians living abroad vote? According to official data, Russians living in the Baltic states voted in favour of the amendments to the constitution at a higher rate to Russians living in Russia or Russians living in other EU countries. Why was this?

On July 1st Russia’s nationwide voting on constitutional amendments – designed primarily to give the current Russian president, Vladimir Putin the opportunity to remain in power until 2036 – came to an end. According to Russia’s Central Electoral Commission, more than 57.7 million voters, or 77.92 per cent of those who voted, supported the amendments, while 15.7 million, or 21.27 per cent, voted against it. The turnout, according to official reports, reached almost 68 per cent.

September 7, 2020 - Olga Irisova

Gone with the virus. How the pandemic makes Russian strategy evanescent

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in three major blows to the Kremlin’s international strategy, thus making it adjust to much less favourable circumstances than when Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea and disrupted relations with the West.

July 7, 2020 - Andrey Makarychev

An investigation into Putin’s useful idiot

A review of Crime in Progress. The Secret History of the Trump-Russia Investigation. By Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch. Publisher: Allen Lane, London, 2019.

April 6, 2020 - Taras Kuzio

Talk Eastern Europe Episode 30: A Russian Hangover. Interview with Shaun Walker

In this episode Adam and Maciek catch up with Shaun Walker – a journalist, writer and Guardian correspondent for Central and Eastern Europe.

February 1, 2020 - Adam Reichardt Maciej Makulski

Putin’s ideas for 2024

Vladimir Putin’s push for constitutional changes is likely a way to stay in power. But will they be enough to convince the society which is growing more discontent with the current stagnation?

January 31, 2020 - Agnieszka Legucka

You can run, but can you hide?

A review of The Compatriots. The Brutal and Chaotic History of Russia's Exiles, Émigrés, and Agents Abroad. By: Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan. Publisher: Public Affairs, New York, 2019.

January 27, 2020 - Luke Harding

Contemporary Russia’s power vertical: Clans controlled by the Kremlin

Despite the fall of communism nearly three decades ago, Russian leaders have continued to pursue illiberalism and authoritarianism – especially Vladimir Putin, whose popularity remains high even as he plunders the country’s financial assets. Putin’s ability to strengthen and manipulate the power vertical and its accompanying clan system are crucial to his control of Russia as a whole.

Contemporary Russian politics, starting in 1990 when the country declared its sovereignty and de-facto independence from the Soviet Union, has experienced all types of regime shifts. The newly post-Soviet Russia began as a fragile democracy, albeit one that leaned more towards illiberalism than freedom and continued to endure hard authoritarian governance. Over the years it travelled down the path of greater totalitarianism.

May 2, 2019 - Vakhtang Maisaia

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