Policy Memos

No Enemy at the Gate: An Unusual Election Cycle in Russia

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A few weeks after the September 2004 hostage crisis in Beslan, North Ossetia, the leading propaganda man of the Putin regime, Vladislav Surkov, declared: "We must all realize—the enemy is at the gate." The claim that Russia is surrounded by all sorts of enemies, from radical Islamists in the Caucasus to the U.S. military in Europe and Central Asia, legitimized a range of measures aimed at consolidating the "vertical of power." This trend culminated in 2007, in the run-up to parliamentary and presidential elections, held against the background of an open confrontation with the West and a crackdown on the liberal opposition within the country. [...]

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About the author

Professor, EU–Russia Studies
University of Tartu, Estonia