Post-election Russia, End of Putins Era?     Oleg Kozlovsky   Wroclaw, 2012-04-20
Decline of Support for Regime         (until December 2011)    Endemic corruption    Lack of rule of law    Censorship...
Decline of Support for Regime       (up until December 2011)    January 2011: «Party of Crooks and Thieves»    September...
Duma Elections             (December 4, 2012)    Widespread fraud and irregularities (ballot    stuffing, multiple voting...
Inter-elections Protests(December 2011 — February 2012)    Until December 2011, most protests had had at    most 3,000 to...
Inter-elections Protests(December 2011 — February 2012)    The vast majority of participants were ordinary    citizens, n...
Regimes Reaction(December 2011 — February 2012)    First attempts to counter protests failed    One-way concessions: mor...
Presidential Elections              (March 4, 2012)    Only «approved» candidates    Putins overwhelming presence on TV...
Movements Fatigue               (March 2012)    Smaller, more confrontational (but still non-    violent) demonstrations...
Preliminary Results    Pro-democracy movement has become    mainstream    Thousands of new, smart and enthusiastic    pe...
Future: Regional Outreach    April 1: Hundreds activists from Moscow go to    Yaroslavl to observe local mayoral election...
Future: Parties & Elections    New legislation simplifies creation of political    parties and participation in elections...
Future: New Initiatives    Many of those who «woke up» since December    are professionals occupied in business, design, ...
Future: How Its Going to End    The protests have changed Russia forever    The regime wont regain legitimacy    More a...
Oleg Kozlovsky   oleg@kozlovsky.rufacebook.com/kozlovsky      @kozlovsky
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Post-election Russia, End of Putin's Era?

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My theses at conference "East of Europe, Out of Schengen: Perspective of Post-Soviet World". Wroclaw, 2012-04-20.

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Post-election Russia, End of Putin's Era?

  1. 1. Post-election Russia, End of Putins Era? Oleg Kozlovsky Wroclaw, 2012-04-20
  2. 2. Decline of Support for Regime (until December 2011) Endemic corruption Lack of rule of law Censorship Governments opaqueness Economic hardship New, richer, more self-respecting middle class Increased civic responsibility Proliferation of the Internet
  3. 3. Decline of Support for Regime (up until December 2011) January 2011: «Party of Crooks and Thieves» September 24, 2011: Putin, Medvedev switch seats November 27, 2011: Putin booed at a wrestling match December 4, 2011: Duma elections
  4. 4. Duma Elections (December 4, 2012) Widespread fraud and irregularities (ballot stuffing, multiple voting, fake protocols etc.) Level of fraud not much higher than earlier elections Better publicized thanks to new technologies More attention to and interest in elections Significant drop of official figures for UR, below 50%
  5. 5. Inter-elections Protests(December 2011 — February 2012) Until December 2011, most protests had had at most 3,000 to 5,000 participants (usually under 500); Moscow had been considered «too wealthy to revolt» Between elections, four major rallies were held in Moscow that gathered 20,000 to 120,000 participants 100+ cities joined, but had significantly lower figures (up to 15,000 in Saint Petersburg) A number of journalists, writers, actors etc. expressed support for the protests
  6. 6. Inter-elections Protests(December 2011 — February 2012) The vast majority of participants were ordinary citizens, not activists Old opposition leaders (both systemic and non- systemic) negotiated with the authorities and did technical organizing, but barely controlled the people Facebook (along with Twitter, Vkontakte, LiveJournal) was the main tool for raising awareness, mobilizing, and discussing the protest The protests were explicitly non-violent, non- confrontational; «change, not revolution» Extensive use of creativity and humour
  7. 7. Regimes Reaction(December 2011 — February 2012) First attempts to counter protests failed One-way concessions: more democratic party & election legislation, return of gubernatorial elections, removal of Surkov, webcams at polling stations Desertions & attempts of dialogue Counter-propaganda against protesters leaders; «anti- Orangist», anti-American campaign Gathering big pro-regime rallies (February 4&23)
  8. 8. Presidential Elections (March 4, 2012) Only «approved» candidates Putins overwhelming presence on TV Mobilization of supporters Outright fraud (except Moscow) GOTV: Go Observe The Vote campaign in Moscow Russia: 64% for Putin; Moscow: 47% (fewer votes than ever before)
  9. 9. Movements Fatigue (March 2012) Smaller, more confrontational (but still non- violent) demonstrations Despair, infighting among activists and leaders Too high expectations lead to disappointments
  10. 10. Preliminary Results Pro-democracy movement has become mainstream Thousands of new, smart and enthusiastic people have become active in promoting democracys cause Regimes legitimacy was badly damaged by revealed election-rigging and protests New laws partially dismantle Putins system of «managed democracy»
  11. 11. Future: Regional Outreach April 1: Hundreds activists from Moscow go to Yaroslavl to observe local mayoral elections; opposition candidate Urlashov wins runoff with 70% of votes April 14: 5,000-strong protest in Astrakhan (1500 km South of Moscow) against stolen mayoral elections; hundreds supporters from Moscow and other cities participate Next up: Omsk, Krasnoyarsk
  12. 12. Future: Parties & Elections New legislation simplifies creation of political parties and participation in elections: takes only 500 members (instead of 40,000), signature- gathering waived or simplified Non-systemic opposition will at last have a chance to participate in most elections Municipal and regional level elections can be won even under Putins «managed democracy»: proved in Yaroslavl Small victories are important to prove seriousness and legitimacy of the opposition
  13. 13. Future: New Initiatives Many of those who «woke up» since December are professionals occupied in business, design, IT, education, etc., i.e. so-called «creative class» Some of them will channel their energy in new initiatives, projects, and groups dealing with various issues, from corruption to censorship to environment problems The next year or two will see much more civic activism of different sorts
  14. 14. Future: How Its Going to End The protests have changed Russia forever The regime wont regain legitimacy More active and capable civil society will increase pressure on the government New protests will be dedicated to other issues Any event or series of events can spark a new, stronger wave of protests that will finish off the regime
  15. 15. Oleg Kozlovsky oleg@kozlovsky.rufacebook.com/kozlovsky @kozlovsky

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