Fear and political participation

Russians are still pretty apolitical animals but they are gradually realizing that their passivity is contributing to the country’s stagnation and general hopelessness. When they quit the “quiet desperation” mode, they look to others who have made it farther into political territory for guidance and reassurance.

The Kremlin is chronically phobic, slipping into the acute phase when triggered by public protests. It strikes back, reflexively, seeking to intimidate and retaliate, oblivious to the law of unintended consequences.

Raiding dozens of regional offices of the opposion leader’s organization and accusing them of accepting foreign funds and money laundering could both enhance Alexey Navalny’s name recognition and instill a popular belief in the opposition’s near-supernatural powers.


  1. Ak fantastic stuff please keep it up

    Unfortunately in the west there’s a good deal of Putin fan boys who buy into all the pro kremlin blather,such as RT International, which incidentally never mentions anything actually about Russia!

    • Thank you for your comment! I don’t write about Russian affairs on a regular basis – for that, I’d suggest sites like The Moscow Times and Radio Liberty. For coverage of the opposition and civil society, The Russian Reader. For crime and security analysis, Mark Galeotti’s blog.

      RT has changed focus on my memory – in the early 2010s, they were still making an effort to report on Russia’s domestic affairs (mostly the economy). The change of name, from Russia Today to just RT, reflected the shift in coverage, from Russia to whatever is wrong with the world beyond its borders.

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