The Kremlin’s Failing Monopoly

Ever since Vladimir Putin came to power a decade ago, the Kremlin regime has relied on two pillars: the security forces and energy exports. With energy revenues screeching to a halt, Putin’s regime will lose popularity, writes Alexander Etkind, Reader of Russian literature at Cambridge University and Fellow at Princeton University.

Central myths about Putin being the healer of the nation and the supplier of giveaway budgets are collapsing. Putin’s regime will survive only if it risks deep change, a new perestroika rather than simply a thaw. But it is more likely that the regime is too rigid and too blinkered to act.

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