Posts by Samuel Greene

Samuel Greene 08-24-2020
(Moscow-on-Thames) I’m struggling to decide whether the recent events surrounding Aleksei Navalny are more macabre, or more absurd. For the moment, at least, I’m going with macabre. That seems the only reasonable conclusion, when the man is still at death’s door. Navalny – whose place in Russian politics is well summarized by Morvan Lallouet – is only the latest in a string of opponents of the current occupants of the Kremlin to fall ill under mysterious...
Samuel Greene 08-21-2020
(Moscow-on-Thames) In a recent interview, timed to help drum up support for a constitutional reform that would strengthen the power of the presidency and potentially extend his rule until 2036, Vladimir Putin said, among many other things, the following: What is democracy? It’s the power of the people, that’s right. But if the people elect their higher authorities, then those higher authorities have the right to organize the work of the organs of...
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Samuel Greene 08-13-2020
(Moscow-on-Thames blog) We should always retain the capacity to be surprised. I am not an expert on Belarus. I have done precious little research there, have few contacts and no insider knowledge. I am, then, watching the scenes of protest very much like many others for whom the country has been on the periphery of our attention: with rapt bewilderment. I’m here to tell you that bewilderment is a good thing. That’s not only because a good surprise now and...
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Samuel Greene 06-15-2020
(Moscow-on-Thames) As Vladimir Putin launched the public campaign for his constitutional reform, he took the opportunity to tell Russia a bit about the United States, and about democracy in general. “What is democracy?” Putin asked (rhetorically, in more ways than one). “It’s the power of the people, that’s right. But if the people elect their higher authorities, then those higher authorities have the right to organize the work of the organs of executive...
Samuel Greene 05-14-2020
(Wilson Center) "In a conversation with Samuel Greene, director of King's Russia Institute, the Russia File discusses the Kremlin's COVID-19 politics and Russian society’s newfound empowerment." The Wilson Center (Soundcloud) "Join me and the always fascinating Maxim Trudolyubov for a wide-ranging discussion of the impact of COVID-19 on society, the media and politics in Russia and, frankly, around the world." Sam Greene (Moscow-...
Samuel Greene 03-10-2020
(Moscow-on-Thames) I’ll say it: Sometimes I get it wrong. Or not quite right. Which is almost the same thing. In case you’ve missed it, today’s news is that Valentina Terehskova, a United Russia Duma Deputy and the first woman in space, proposed ‘resetting’ Putin’s presidential terms, allowing him to run again. The Speaker of the Duma called Putin. Putin said ok. And that was that. Within the space of about 20 minutes, one of the key planks of Putin’s...
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Samuel Greene 02-05-2020
BookAuthority's "25 Best New International Relations Books to Read" includes Samuel A. Greene and Graeme B. Robertson's book, Putin v. the People: The Perilous Politics of a Divided Russia. "A fascinating, bottom-up exploration of contemporary Russian politics that sheds new light on why Putin’s grip on power is more fragile then we think." Read More © BookAuthority  
Samuel Greene 01-29-2020
(Moscow-On-Thames) It’s been a while since a major Putin policy address has been anything other than boring. Not today. Today, Putin proposed a radical reshaping of Russia’s political system. Kind of.  Notwithstanding all of the various socio-economic and foreign policy statements (most of which are genuinely boring), the crux of Putin’s annual address to the Federal Assembly is what looks to be a reasonably sweeping constitutional reform. The really big...
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Samuel Greene 12-04-2019
(Moscow-On-Thames) For the latest another addition to my (very long) list of reasons why the community of international relations scholars who call themselves realists should be banned from using the term, see (if you have the stomach) Tom Graham’s latest foray in Foreign Affairs. If you don’t have access to the journal, you can get the gist of the idea from Serhiy Kudelia’s Facebook post below. Let’s set aside the idea that the best way to end conflict...
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Samuel Greene 09-09-2019
(Moscow-on-Thames blog) By most accounts, United Russia is finished. I suppose that’s not surprising, given that it was never really expected to last even this long. Cobbled together in 2001 through the merger of the Unity and Fatherland All Russia Parties — which themselves had been cobbled together by various Kremlin factions only a few years earlier — United Russia won its first Duma elections in 2003. Prior to 2007, no other ‘Party of Power’ in Russia...
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About the author

Director, Russia Institute
King’s College London