Disappointed in Stagnating ‘Stability,’ Russia Yearns and Braces for Change

13 Nov 2019

(EDM) Stability has always been the main promise legitimizing Vladimir Putin’s monopolization of political power in Russia. Restoration of stability was the winning slogan for Putin in 2012, in claiming the presidency back from his pliant stand-in, Dmitry Medvedev, who had tried to experiment with modernization. And Putin’s reelection in 2018 also utilized a stability-centered propaganda campaign. The shock of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, as well as the protracted pain from ensuing economic dislocation and political turmoil produced a strong desire for smooth sailing with a strong hand on the rudder among a majority of Russians; and the sharp crisis of 2008 only reinforced that preference. Yet, presently, this “majority” has shrunk to statistical insignificance. A recent opinion poll shows that 59 percent of Russians expect and see a need for profound changes, and 31 percent concede that at least some change is necessary (Vedomosti, November 6). [...]

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