After the Moscow protests: Russia's political and societal landscape on the eve of the 2020's

invitation only · Arkadiankatu 23 H (courtyard), Helsinki · 29.10.2019 09:30 - 11:30

invitation only

The protests surrounding the regional elections in Moscow in the summer brought new features to Russia’s domestic political dynamics. Despite the authorities’ increasingly harsh measures against non-governmental political activities, mobilization of citizens against these measures appeared to be the largest since the 2011-12 protests. The regime’s repressive methods did not calm the situation as expected. Instead, these methods turned against themselves when hundreds of thousands of citizens as well as various occupational groups demonstrated an extraordinary solidarity for the arbitrarily arrested and condemned citizens.

The year 2019 in Russia has shown that protests have placed, at least in the short term, a constraint on the regime’s restrictive policies towards civil society, whether the issue is about arbitrary arrests, waste management or the public usage of urban space. Trends in public opinion have pointed in a similar direction, and it is legitimate to say that the so-called “Crimean consensus” is over. Are these changes more permanent and will the dissatisfaction seen in various parts of Russia expand in terms of the growing civic opposition to the regime? Will the Kremlin be able to fix its troubled authoritarian party system and restore the credibility of its politics of stability? Or, will the regime be forced to resort to increasingly repressive policies in sustaining its political legitimacy?


Denis Volkov

Deputy Director, Levada-Center

Denis Volkov is the Deputy director at the Levada-Center. He joined the Levada Center, an independent polling organisation based in Moscow, as an analyst and head of the department in 2007. Since then he participated in more than a hundred quantitative and qualitative research projects as a researcher, analyst or organiser. He authored publications with particular focus on civil society, protest activities, elections and political attitudes of the general public and of young people, business and elites opinion in Russia. He is a columnist at Vedomosti and RBC newspapers and at of Carnegie Moscow Center

Abbas Gallyamov

Political Consultant

Abbas Gallyamov, a former speechwriter for Russian President Vladimir Putin, is a political consultant who has worked in many elections. As a political expert, he regularly comments on issues related to Russian domestic politics in Moscow’s leading daily newspapers.


Veera Laine

Veera Laine

Visiting Research Fellow, FIIA

Veera Laine is a Visiting Research Fellow in the EU’S Eastern Neighbourhood and Russia research programme at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. She is currently working on her political history doctoral dissertation on nationalism(s) in contemporary Russia at the University of Helsinki.


Jussi Lassila

Senior Research Fellow

Russian domestic politics, in particular identity politics, nationalism, political movements, populism, political rhetoric and communication