The Russian government’s brutal treatment of opposition leader Alexei Navalny has provoked widespread international anger. Yet support for Navalny at home remains surprisingly thin. Navalny’s approval rating has not budged since September and is currently stuck at 19 percent, according to Levada Center, an independent Russian pollster. Despite a short-lived wave of street protests in early January, there are few signs that average Russians are rallying to his cause.
At the same time, displeasure with the status quo is clearly on the upswing, especially among the country’s younger generation and others frustrated with worsening socioeconomic challenges. Russia’s beleaguered political opposition and civil society face growing pressure from the Putin regime, which seeks to further marginalize disloyal voices ahead of parliamentary elections this autumn.
Andrei Kolesnikov examined the public mood and potential for change in a recent three-part series for the Carnegie Moscow Center in conjunction with Levada Center. He will be joined by one of Russia’s most high-profile political observers Ekaterina Schulmann who has built an online following via her YouTube channel, which has nearly a half-million followers.
Please note this event will be livestreamed. An archived copy of the discussion will be posted on the Carnegie Endowment website.