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The Kremlin Learns to Strike Back: Assessing Reactions to Protests in Russia

In: Russian Politics
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  • 1 Peace Research Centre, Institute of Political Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
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Abstract

In the light of the turbulence in the post-Soviet space, consolidation of the regime, and prevention of possible dangers to it have always been among the main goals of domestic politics for Moscow. While lessons can be drawn from external revolutions, the regional context is as important because it allows testing what works in the Russian context. What may work in Cairo may not be effective in Kazan.

Existing analyses focused on Russia primarily look at a general picture, or occasionally Moscow and/or St. Petersburg. Therefore, this paper tests the hypothesis that during the third Putin presidency, the Kremlin developed practices at both regional and federal levels to ensure regime survival when faced with protests.

I believe that the nature of a protest influences governmental response. I divide the protests by the type of demonstration, their length, and demands. I find that regardless of the type of protest, regional governments are more concerned with cracking down, whereas, at the federal level, crackdowns are primarily on political protests.

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