After a botched attempt to poison Alexei Navalny in August 2020, the Kremlin has decided to sentence him to over two years in prison upon the oppositionist’s return to Russia in January. Navalny responded with a bombshell video about the corruption around “Putin’s Palace.” Unsanctioned, mass protests filled the two capitals and tens of provincial cities resulted. The protesters were met with mass, indiscriminate arrests, and police violence. The political ante in this back-and-forth has certainly risen but to what end?
Russia has experienced the ebbs and flows of protest on the federal and local level for years. And while each eruption quickly elicits a sense that Russia is at a turning point, more cautious and sober assessments follow in the weeks and months after. So, is what we’re now seeing something new or more of the same? What do the protests suggest about Russian society, politics, and the state of Putin’s power? Especially, as Russia will hold parliamentary elections in September.
This live roundtable discussion with Greg Yudin (Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences), Svetlana Yerpyleva (Public Sociology Laboratory), and Ilya Budraitskis (Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences and Political Diary Podcast) and moderated by Sean Guillory (REEES and the SRB Podcast) will explore these issues and more.