The State of Russia: What Comes Next?, Maria Lipman and Nikolay Petrov
Following events in Ukraine in late 2013 and early 2014, the regime of Vladimir Putin made sweeping political choices that will determine the country’s development for many years to come. Post-2014, we are presented with a very different Russia with a qualitatively different leader, different elites and different citizens.
The regime has become ever more authoritarian and personalized. Today Putin bears far greater resemblance to a monarch and his power is unchecked; he, his inner circle, and the structures accountable directly to him have gained additional authority. The balance of power among the political elites is now significantly tilted in favor of the security and law-enforcement agencies that continue to receive additional powers to control both businesses and the public at large.
Additionally, the once peaceful decision-making process has taken on a militaristic dynamic; power is now structured vertically, with Putin at the apex. Critical decisions such as the 2014 annexation...