Symposium introduction: On Sunday, the unexpected happened in Russia. Across the country, coordinated anti-corruption protests drew tens of thousands of people. Ostensibly these were not directed at President Vladimir Putin (although, as you’ll see below, opinions differ.) Rather, opposition leader Alexei Navalny called for the protests in a video released online accusing Prime Minister (and ex-president) Dmitry Medvedev of a spectacular, and corrupt, accumulation of wealth, demanding an investigation. Protests struck dozens of cities, were widely dispersed and were led by pensioners and young people.
To understand these surprising protests, I asked experts on Russian politics from PONARS Eurasia to join an online symposium, answering the question: Do the protests that took place across 99 cities in Russia on Sunday signify that meaningful change in Russian politics is likely?… Seguir leyendo »