Russian Politics: The Paradox of a Weak State | Wilson Center
6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

Russian Politics: The Paradox of a Weak State

Since the public dissention after the presidential “swap” announcement and rigged elections of last year, Putin and those who rule with him are resisting change and are even less willing than before to engage in reforms and economic “modernization.” Forces within Russian society that push for political reform and modernization are simply not trusted by the regime, which is taking active measures against them. Because the Putin regime has over time hollowed out nearly all public institutions, neither side can rely on good working political institutions to negotiate, mediate, and find compromises. Putinism as a system of rule is in crisis: It is struggling against the tide, but it still has considerable resources and instruments at hand.


  • Marie Mendras

    Kennan Expert
    Professor, School of International Affairs, Sciences Po University, Paris