NEWSWATCH: “Dissent Shakes the Foundation of the Kremlin’s Power” – Stratfor

File Photo of Kremlin Aerial View, adapted from .gov source

… Most of the dissidence in Russia today does not come in response to a specific incident – such as the electoral fraud that incited mass demonstrations in 2011-12 – but to the country’s political system more generally. With a few exceptions, rather than targeting the president himself, the current protests are aimed at corruption or economic stagnation. … To make matters worse for Moscow, the country’s regional leaders now seem to be registering their own dissatisfaction with the federal government. Local officials granted protest permits in 11 of the 32 cities in which demonstrations took place April 29, although the Kremlin deemed them illegal. * * * More recently, doubts have arisen about the loyalty of Russia’s police forces. … a key measure of the Russian government’s authority.  … Last year, Putin took a page from Yeltsin’s book, siphoning some of the interior services’ elite forces to create the National Guard, a unit he can mobilize for his personal protection in the event of widespread domestic revolt or a palace coup. …

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