Russia’s regions: is awakening to be expected?

Webinar · 15.03.2021 14:00 - 15:00

In this FIIA webinar, we will focus on the recent political developments in the Russian regions from two overarching perspectives: the implications of the Covid-19 and the recent round of protests across Russia. While the first wave of Covid-19 hit hardest in Moscow, the second wave of the pandemic in the autumn and winter of 2020–2021 reached even the most distant areas of Russia. The resources to cope with the situation vary considerably between regions, many of which depend heavily on the support from the political centre. For long, the Kremlin has aimed at keeping the local and regional politicians loyal and under control, but now they are also expected to carry the political responsibility for handling the crisis. At the same time, the anti-corruption and anti-regime protests demanding the release of Alexey Navalny spread across the country. How will the political implications of these recent developments, taken together, affect the future dynamics between the political centre and the regions of Russia?

Registrations to by Thursday 11 March.


Irina Busygina

Director, Center for Comparative Governance Studies; Professor, Higher School of Economics, Saint Petersburg

Irina Busygina is Director of the Center for Comparative Governance Studies and Professor in the Department of political science and international relations in the Higher School of Economics in Saint Petersburg. Her research interests include comparative federalism and decentralisation, and Russian foreign policy.

Andrei Semenov

Senior Researcher, Center for Comparative History and Politics, Perm State University

Andrei Semenov is a political scientist focusing on contentious, electoral, and party politics in contemporary Russia. His research interests encompass political mobilization, social movements, civic and urban activism as well as electoral and subnational politics. He is a Senior Researcher at the Center for Comparative History and Politics (Perm State University) and Sociological Institute (Russian Academy of Sciences). Mr Semenov holds a specialist degree in political science from Tyumen State University (2006) and candidate of science degree in politics from Perm State University (2010).

Oleg Reut

Research Associate, Karelian Institute of the University of Eastern Finland

Oleg Reut is a Research Associate at the Karelian Institute of the University of Eastern Finland participating in the joint research project on Public Memory in (Post)transnational Borderlands, supported by the Academy of Finland. Dr Reut is a frequent commentator on current Russian events in international, national, and regional digital and printed media.


Veera Laine

Research Fellow, FIIA

Veera Laine is a Research Fellow in the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood and Russia research programme at FIIA. She is currently working on her political history doctoral dissertation on nationalism(s) in contemporary Russia at the University of Helsinki. Her most recent publication is a journal article entitled New Generation of Victors: Narrating the Nation in Russian Presidential Discourse 2012–2019 (Demokratizatsiya 2020).


Jussi Lassila

Senior Research Fellow, FIIA

Jussi Lassila is a Senior Research Fellow in the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood and Russia research programme at FIIA. His recent publications include Digital authoritarianism in China and Russia: Common goals and diverging standpoints in the era of great-power rivalry (FIIA Briefing Paper 294 with Elina Sinkkonen), Glitches in the Kremlinʼs politics of Fear: The dynamics of repression in Russia between 2012 and 2019 (FIIA Briefing Paper 273) and a co-edited and co-authored volume War and Memory in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (Palgrave Macmillan 2017). Dr Lassila has published widely on issues related to Russian domestic politics, in particular identity politics, nationalism, populism and political communication.