NEWSLINK: “Putin the Balancer: Containing and Balancing Russia’s Multifarious Forces through Soft Authoritarianism” – Russian and Eurasian Politics/ Gordon M. Hahn

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

“… This suggests that to some extent, not just its policies but the regime itself may be malleable to change depending on the tenor or face (as well as potential threat) it presents to representatives of the ‘sistema’. Remember most observers assume Putin was really the man in charge during Medvedev’s thaw. Liberals, in particular the rather rabid liberal intelligentsia, […]

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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 […]

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Russians Remain Too Atomized and Lacking in Empathy to Make a Revolution, Kirillova Says

File Photo of Revolutionaries Marching in Moscow in 1917, adapted from image at state.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, May 2, 2017) Many nations facing the difficulties #Russians now are would #revolutionary change [sic], but Russians are unlikely to do so, Kseniya Kirillova says, because they remain far too atomized and far too lacking in empathy to look beyond their immediate personal problems and identify with the problems of others. The […]

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Deciphering a Revolution; ‘1917: Code of a Revolution’ is the first exhibition marking this year’s centenary

File Photo of Revolutionaries Marching in Moscow in 1917, adapted from image at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Andrei Muchnik – March 31, 2017) In 2017, Russia marks the 100th anniversary of one of the most crucial episodes in its history – the October Revolution. And what better place to hold the first in a series of exhibitions devoted to the centennial than the Museum of Contemporary Russian History – known until 1998 […]

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Patriarch Kirill blames 1917 revolution on intelligentsia

File Photo of Revolutionaries Marching in Moscow in 1917, adapted from image at state.gov

MOSCOW. March 29 (Interfax) – Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has put the main blame for the 1917 revolution on the intelligentsia. “What happened in the 20th century, that meat-grinder, which ground the entire intelligentsia, is it not an organic consequences of the horrible crimes that the intelligentsia committed against faith, against God, against their people, against their […]

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NEWSWATCH: “In defence of the Romanovs: the centenary of the February Revolution” – The Spectator (Australia)/Matthew Dal Santo

Romanov Family Photo

“A century ago today, as the Imperial Train sat impounded at a provincial station 180 miles from Petrograd, Russia’s last Tsar, Nicholas II (1868-1918), signed an act of abdication. The Russian Revolution was formally in motion. Slightly more than eight months later, the liberal republic that succeeded the Romanov autocracy had given way to seven decades of Communist dictatorship. … most […]

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With Reforms Impossible, Some Russians Predict Revolution, Baklanov Says

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 2, 2016) Given that Vladimir #Putin has signaled that any serious reforms in the near term are unlikely or even impossible, ever more #Russians are predicting revolution, especially as that country enters the centenary of the two revolutions of 1917, Aleksandr Baklanov says. That doesn’t mean that a revolution will happen […]

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The Ghosts Of Kremlins Past — Lenin

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore- October 10, 2016) Vladimir Vladimirovich is afraid of Vladimir Ilyich. Vladimir Putin is terrified of Vladimir Lenin. He’s afraid of how Lenin came to power. He’s afraid of how he led a street uprising that toppled an empire. And he’s afraid that a 21st-century Lenin could be lurking in the shadows. This isn’t about […]

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New Russian Consensus Reflects National Masochism, Rosbalt Commentator Says

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 4, 2016) This year has been marked by the rise in Russia of a new “societal agreement” on three points: that the country is in stagnation and will remain so for a long time, that Putin will stay in office “until the end of life (his or ours), and that “after […]

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Expert: Putin’s Reported Plan to Restore KGB May Reflect Fear of Overthrow

Stylized Artist's Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

(Voice of America – voanews.com – Jim Kovpak – MOSCOW, September 26, 2016) The consolidation of Russia’s intelligence agencies into a massive security ministry, in effect recreating the old Soviet KGB, is a worrisome prospect for some Kremlin watchers. The plan reportedly under discussion would merge the Federal Security Service (FSB), Russia’s principal security agency, the Foreign Intelligence Service and […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Why IR Theory Gets Russia Wrong; Moscow’s Predictably Unpredictable Politics” – Foreign Affairs/Timothy Frye

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

With Russia’s economy sagging, support for the government falling, and even … Putin’s sky-high approval ratings beginning to come down to earth, there has been no shortage of speculation about Russia’s political stability. Some argue that a collapse of the Putin regime is imminent … others are more cautious. * * * Russia is oil-rich, but less so than many […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Don’t Rock the Boat: How Long Can Putin Avoid Capsizing?” – Carnegie Moscow Center/Andrei Kolesnikov

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

Some Russian experts are predicting that the current Russian regime will last another ten years. Change is inevitable, but no one can forecast what form it will take. In the short term, the trend is for inertia and no change. What will the Russian political landscape look like a decade from now? Is Russia slipping back to the Soviet past […]

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RBTH: Can two political émigrés foment a revolution in Russia from abroad?

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

With half a year remaining before parliamentary elections in Russia, not only the Russian government but also its opponents have intensified their activities. In London two millionaires are open in their support for a revolution in Russia. But instead of undertaking concrete action they are waiting for the government to make mistakes. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – YEKATERINA […]

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Putin, Trapped Between War and Revolution, Will Choose War, Ikhlov Says

Vladimir Putin

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, February 2, 2016) There are two possibilities in Russia today: either Vladimir Putin is in control of events or he is their prisoner, trapped between war and revolution. As bad as the first would be, the way the world has gone to war in the past suggests the second may be even […]

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Khodorkovsky to Support Russian Opposition Candidates

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 22, 2016) Former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s Open Russia foundation will support opposition candidates at Russia’s upcoming parliamentary elections, Kommersant newspaper reported Friday. Open Russia will aid candidates via its new Open Elections project, introduced last summer, according to Khodorkovsky’s website. “We will provide the resources. There aren’t any people who know to attract […]

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Russia May Be Close to a Revolution But Not the One Opposition Hopes For, Sociologist Says

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, December 28, 2015) Given the increasing pessimism among Russians because of declines in their standard of living, Russia may be approaching a revolutionary situation, according to Yekaterina Dobrenkova; but the revolution may not succeed or it may turn out to be very different than the one the opposition hopes for. Earlier this […]

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The End Of Russia’s Mass Hallucination

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(RFE/RL – Brian Whitmore – December 23, 2015) Fresh barbed-wire fencing around the nation’s main TV tower isn’t exactly a sign of a confident regime. In addition to reinforcing its perimeter, Moscow’s state-run Ostankino television center also upgraded its security detail, replacing regular police officers with elite Interior Ministry forces. “These are normal security measures that are connected to the […]

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Revolution in Russia ‘Inevitable and Necessary,’ Khodorkovsky Says

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, December 10, 2015) Yesterday, exiled Russian oligarch and opposition leader Mikhail Khodorkovsky gave an online press conference in which he said that a revolution in Russia is both “inevitable and necessary, a declaration that has attracted broad attention in the Russian segment of the Internet. But he said a number of other […]

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Putin Majority Breaking Down But Elite Splits and Mass Protests Won’t Come Immediately, Solovey Says

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, December 8, 2015) The truck drivers’ strike and the seriousness with which the Kremlin has reacted to it show that “the Putin majority, the Putin consensus and Putin stability are all beginning to break down, Valery Solovey says; but that does not mean that more mass protests are likely to occur in […]

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Russians More Optimistic about Ethnic Problems at Home But Have Little Reason to Be, Experts Say

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 26, 2015) The shares of Russians who say that ethnic conflicts in their country are “likely” or “more likely than not” have declined from 17 and 45 percent respectively in October 2013 to five and 20 percent now, according to the findings of a new Levada Center poll. But Mikhail Remizov […]

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How Next Round of Russia’s Disintegration May Begin

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 24, 2015) In his poem, “The Fall of Rome,” W.H. Auden wrote that it could be signaled not by some dramatic event but rather by “a bored official” scribbling a note and leaving his office to go home, a reminder that enormous tectonic shifts often begin with small things that most […]

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Unlike in Ukraine, a Russian Maidan Would Likely Be Violent and Destructive, Shevtsova Says

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 10, 2015) “Unfortunately, Russia is different from present-day Ukraine in many ways,” Lilya Shevtsova says; and consequently, if a Maidan does occur there, it is likely to be different as well, violent rather peaceful, destructive rather than constructive, and divisive rather than unifying. In the course of an interview this week […]

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Interfax: Armenian police sees no preconditions for revolution

Armenia Map

YEREVAN. June 25 (Interfax) – The Armenian police sees no preconditions for the protests in central Yerevan to develop into a revolution, Colonel Valery Osipian, deputy head of the Yerevan police, said. “It’s strange. What revolution or Maidan are they talking about? Of course, there are no such tendencies, there are no preconditions,” Osipian told Interfax. “Foreign experience should not […]

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Putin Sounds the Alarm Over Budding ‘Color Revolutions’ in Russia

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – March 5, 2015) President Vladimir Putin urged Interior Ministry officials on Wednesday to focus on smothering budding color revolutions, thus bolstering the current political climate by reinforcing a widespread fear of domestic enemies, analysts told The Moscow Times. “We see attempts to use so-called ‘color revolution technology,’ ranging from organizing unlawful public […]

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A Coup Against Putin?

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Donald N. Jensen – February 4, 2015) As Russia’s economy enters recession and its political stability starts to weaken, there is increasing speculation about the possibility of a regime change in the country. Donald N. Jensen, resident fellow of the Center for Transatlantic Relations, discusses Russia’s political climate and the options currently confronting […]

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NEWSWATCH: Inside Putin’s Head: The Crisis in Russia and Ukraine and Worst-Case Putin Scenarios

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

[“Inside’s Putin’s Head: The Crisis in Russia and Ukraine and Worst-Case Putin Scenarios” – Gordon M. Hahn – gordonhahn.com – January 31, 2015] Gordon Hahn considers the impact of the conflict in Ukraine and economic repercussions on the stability and viability of Russia’s Putin regime. The … Russian-NATO proxy war in Ukraine along with the Russian-Western economic cold war could destabilize Russia’s […]

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Moscow Times: Putin Warns of Color Revolutions and Uncontrolled Migration in Extremism Speech

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 21, 2014) President Vladimir Putin called on law enforcement agencies, religious leaders, institutions of civil society and Russia’s education system to join together to prevent the rise of extremism. Describing the threat of extremism, Putin pointed to color revolutions. “In the modern world extremism is often used as a geopolitical instrument to rearrange spheres […]

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Protecting the Motherland: Russia’s Counter-Color Revolution Military Doctrine

File Photo of Russian Military Conscripts Boarding Train with Gear

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 11, Issue 206 – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Roger McDermott – November 18, 2014) President Vladimir Putin’s order to revise Russia’s 2010 Military Doctrine by the end of this year prompted speculation in the Russian media and raised varying opinions about the revision process’s possible motives and its timing. It appears, according to defense specialists […]

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A Russian Maidan Could Take Place Outside of Moscow

Map of Russia

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 11, 2014) The Russian political system is so hyper-centralized and Russian political culture is so Moscow-centric that almost all discussions about radical change in that country focus on the capital city and its residents rather than on the rest of what remains the largest country on earth. But there have been […]

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Russia warns of new wave of collapse of states in Middle East

Middle East Map

(Interfax – Moscow, June 21, 2014) Terrorism, which is the most dangerous threat in the Middle Eastern region, could lead to a new wave of collapse of states, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced following his visit to Saudi Arabia. According to Lavrov, during his meetings with the leadership of the kingdom, the conflicts in Syria, Libya and Iraq, as […]

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Interfax: Zorkin: revolutions bring enormous suffering, society must live within constitutional framework

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

ST. PETERSBURG. Dec 12 (Interfax) – International terrorism, extremism and crime may jeopardize the Russian constitutional system, Russian Constitutional Court Chairman Valery Zorkin said. “The constitution’s anniversary should inspire all people who are not indifferent to holding a profound discussion of any possible threats to the constitutional system of our country. This is the question of international terrorism, extremism and […]

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Business New Europe: Spectre of revolution haunts Ukraine

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Kyiv – December 3, 2013) Ten years on from the Orange Revolution that rolled back a rigged election, Ukraine again appears in the throes of revolution, after mass protests in Kyiv against the government’s failure to sign a deal for closer ties with the EU and ensuing police violence led to […]

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Interfax: Protests in Ukraine to go on, unlikely to result in revolution – Russian experts

Map of Ukraine and Ukrainian Flag

(Interfax – December 2, 2013) Protests in Kiev do not look like an orange revolution, but they may be the implementation of the scenario of part of the Ukrainian leadership, Gleb Pavlovskiy, president of the Effective Policy Foundation, has said, as reported by privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax on 2 December. Commenting on mass protests staged in Kiev and in […]

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Experts in Russia Say Moscow Should Heed Lessons from Wars in Syria, Libya and Yugoslavia

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 10, Issue 101 – Valery Dzutsev – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – May 29, 2013) On April 26, the authoritative Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta hosted a roundtable of experts on the situation in Syria. Although almost all the experts, as usual, accused the United States and the West of fueling civil unrest in Syria now and […]

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NEWSLINK: Russian lawmakers back adoption ban in row with U.S.

Russian Orphanage file photo

[Russian lawmakers back adoption ban in row with U.S. – Reuters – Alissa de Carbonnel – December 21, 2012 – http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/21/russia-adoptions-idUSL5E8NL4FK20121221] Reuters covers the Duma’s support for a ban on U.S. citizens adopting Russian children, as well as a ban on U.S. nonprofits funding Russian democratization nonprofits, in retaliation for Congressional efforts to hold Russian human rights abusers accountable: Russia’s […]

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No ‘Color Revolutions’ in Russia – Security Council Chief

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

MOSCOW, December 18 (RIA Novosti) ­ Foreign forces trying to spark “a color revolution” in Russia won’t succeed, Russia’s Security Council chief said in an interview published Tuesday. “There are no grounds for ‘color revolutions’ in Russia and we will not permit those scenarios to develop in our country,” Nikolai Patrushev, security chief and longtime ally of President Putin, told […]

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Kudrin predicts Russia’s ‘evolutionary’ liberalization

Alexei Kudrin file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 19 (Interfax) – Former Russian finance minister Alexei Kudrin, who today heads a nongovernmental organization called Civil Initiatives Committee, has practically ruled out the possibility of Russia resorting to a revolution to change its established political practices and argued that an “evolutionary path through increasing freedom” is more likely. “I think that there is practically no reason” to […]

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Russians Divided Over Revolution of 1917 But Want No New Revolts – Poll

Map of Russia

MOSCOW. Nov 7 (Interfax) – The Revolution of 1917 had more pros than cons, respondents told the Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM). The center polled 1,600 adults in 46 regions on October 27-28. Some 27% believe the revolution spurred on social development of Russia (the indicator stood at 34% in 2002), and 21% believe it opened up a new […]

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Most Russians against allowing revolutions – poll

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

(Interfax – November 6, 2012) Most polled Russians believe that a revolution cannot be allowed to take place in the country nowadays, the Russian news agency Interfax reported on 6 November. According to a poll carried out by the state-funded All-Russian Centre for the Study of Public Opinion (VTsIOM), most respondents are convinced that a revolution cannot be allowed to […]

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