Looking back at Russia in 2021

Ivan Davydov thinks Russia in 2021 will be remembered for its massaged election results, its jailed or exiled opposition figures, the overspilling tensions from protests in Belarus, and a widening exasperation at the government’s clumsy pandemic response

When we all become “foreign agents”

Ivan Davydov explains the Kremlin’s addiction to targeting “foreign agents”

2020 in Russia: the year when politics became a crime

Ivan Davydov on key developments in Russia in 2020

The tragedy of politics as normal: the meaning of the protests in Khabarovsk

In Russia’s Far East, a false state clashes with a doomed civil society, writes Ivan Davydov

Meaningless electioneering

Ivan Davydov is scratching his head at the vacuous and facile advertising campaigns pushing for amendments to the Russian Constitution

Sometimes, even Russia’s protesters can win

Ivan Davydov considers why and how protests against political repressions sometimes work

Strategic miscommunication

Ivan Davydov reflects on the Kremlin’s communication with society in 2019

Russia’s number one extremist

The Kremlin is cracking down hard on protests in Moscow. Ivan Davydov reflects on what this says about relations between Russia’s rulers and those they rule

The Golunov Case: How A Small Victory Made Big Waves

Ivan Davydov reflects on the success of the recent campaign to free the Russian journalist, and the authorities’ response

An Unholy Mess In Yekaterinburg

Ivan Davydov on the protest in Yekaterinburg and the institutional legitimacy crisis

Russia’s Robin Hood Moment

With public patience for gross corruption at an all-time low, a ticking time bomb has been laid at the foundations of Russian politics for years to come, writes Ivan Davydov

Another Kremlin Regional Election Strategy

A few electoral setbacks for the Kremlin in the regions has forced a rethink. Next time, the strategy will be more focused

Round Up the Unusual Suspects

The Russian state is implementing a punitive online law that is leading to crackdowns on an increasingly wide array of social media posts. But it is proving to be a shambolic form of censorship that suffers from judicial overreach and absurd-sounding convictions.

Tedious Cultural Rants in Russia’s State Duma

Yampolskaya's appointment is a cosmetic rearrangement of officials to stir fresh intrigue

A Spoonful of Propaganda Helps the Pension Reform Go Down

Here is how the Kremlin is enacting an unpopular economic reform: deny responsibility, declare its inevitability, distract the public with a popular sporting event

In The Afterglow of World Cup Fever, Moscow Holds its Mayoral Elections

Spoiler alert: Sergei Sobyanin is on course to retain his post at Moscow’s mayoral elections this September. The tactics bear a resemblance in miniature to how Vladimir Putin ran his campaign for his fourth presidential term.

Echoes of the Tsars

The pomp of Vladimir Putin’s fourth inauguration has a tsarist quality to it, and so does his government’s sanctioned violence against protesters.