How Does the Kremlin Kick When it's Down?
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s trust ratings are at historic lows. So are levels of popular satisfaction with Russian government authorities and economic policy. This discontent recently spilled into the streets with mass demonstrations against the Moscow’s authorities decision not to register the independent candidates for the City Duma elections. The images of riot police beating the protesting Muscovites went viral. Popular Russian celebrities with millions of followers on social media called upon their subscribers to join the protests. Dissatisfaction with the regime is not limited to the capital: In Russia’s European North, the citizens of Arkhangelsk oblast are fighting against the construction of a massive landfill. Earlier this summer, in the Ural city of Yekaterinburg, people protested the local governor’s plan for building yet another church in place of a park. The Kremlin is losing the public’s tolerance to the severe mismanagement of the state. How will this domestic turmoil affect Russia’s international behavior?