Year 2020 in Review: The Maturation of Russia’s Autocracy

06 Jan 2021

(Eurasia Daily Monitor) Russia’s post-Soviet counter-transition arrived at its logical conclusion in 2020: Starting from a fledgling democracy in the 1990s, the country shifted to an “enlightened authoritarianism” in the 2000s, evolving into a barely disguised autocracy during the 2010s, now having finally settled into a quasi-dictatorship. That trajectory was in no way predetermined 20 years ago; but a crucially important inflection point was passed in 2014, with the zealous “patriotic” mobilization that was sparked and fueled by the forcible annexation of Crimea. After that, the constitutional revisions initiated by President Vladimir Putin at the start of 2020 were a natural consequence of late-stage Putinism (Novaya Gazeta, December 30, 2020). [...]

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