The upcoming Russian regional elections could prove to be a milestone in shaping the nation’s political landscape if voters use the opportunity to voice their concerns over widespread electoral fraud and express their lack of confidence in the Kremlin.
Under President Putin, Russia’s government was a hybrid regime that combined elements of both democracy and authoritarianism. Two years into Medvedev’s presidency, the basic structure of government has not significantly changed.
The mayoral elections in Krasnoturinsk demonstrate the power of Russian civil society, given the right conditions, to overcome the administrative political regime.
While autocratic governments that incorporate elements of democracy may be stable in the short term, such systems cannot be sustained in the long term. In Russia’s case, the system is unlikely to survive Putin himself.
Systemic reform of the Russian Interior Ministry will require more than President Medvedev’s recent order to dismiss eighteen high-ranking police officials and to halve the ministry’s head office. Staff reductions are not enough to address the fundamental flaws that plague the institution.
Recently, calls for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s resignation were heard at rallies in different parts of Russia. Although unrelated, these gatherings underscore the growing cracks in the Kremlin’s political system of centralized power, opaque decision-making, and unaccountability.
Magomedov, the new president of Dagestan, is a compromise figure selected to help calm the region. There is every chance that he could be a success for the Kremlin, with the apparent support of Dagestan’s parliament.
On January 30, 10,000 people protested in Kalingrad against the policies of United Russia and, in particular, the region's governor, millionaire Georgy Boos. The large protest demonstrates a disconnect between the authorities and the people of the region.
The Tulip Revolution did not mark the emergence of democracy in Kyrgyzstan. To the contrary, since 2005, limits on political rights and freedoms and the strengthening of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s family rule have only increased.
Viktor Yanukovich's apparent victory in the second round of presidential elections should not be interpreted as the end of Ukraine's democratic experiment. Ukrainian politics is set to remain multi-polar for the foreseeable future.