Where Does Emmanuel Macron Stand on Russia?

A version of this article was published on the Bear Market Brief’s website.

It could hardly have been a more startling contrast: just a few weeks apart, new French President Emmanuel Macron was lauded first by Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critics, and then by his strongest supporters.

Continue reading “Where Does Emmanuel Macron Stand on Russia?”

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Russian State TV’s Regional Correspondents are Writing Secret Reports for the Kremlin, Dojd TV Says

Preventing outbursts of protests in the regions has been one of the Kremlin’s main recent priorities, several news reports have argued over the years. As the 2014 economic crisis lead to rising discontent, authorities looked for ways to get reliable information about what is really going on in the regions. And, according to the independent TV channel Dojd, one of the methods they came up with makes good use of the State’s control over the media: weekly reports sent by the regional correspondents of Russia’s state TV channel “Perviy Kanal” to the Kremlin. Continue reading “Russian State TV’s Regional Correspondents are Writing Secret Reports for the Kremlin, Dojd TV Says”

Presidential Elections: To Raise Turnout, Kremlin May Propose Changing City Names, Sources Say

A year away from the presidential election, the Kremlin’s technocrats are scrambling to find the best way to handle Vladimir Putin a landslide victory and could use “local referendums” to motivate Russians to vote.

Supporters of the president fear voter’s apathy –expressed in last year’s parliamentary elections by a 48% turnout, the lowest the country has seen in its modern history– could give Vladimir Putin a weak standing in what would be, according to the Russian constitution, his last term as President. Continue reading “Presidential Elections: To Raise Turnout, Kremlin May Propose Changing City Names, Sources Say”

Russian Journalists Fear Navalny’s PR is Going the Trump Way

Russian opposition figure and presidential candidate Alexei Navalny has been hailed for its effective use of social networks to circumvent a de facto ban on Russia’s state media. “Navalny at 8.18pm”, a new weekly show broadcasted live on Youtube, has already managed to attract a significant audience. But the deputy editor-in-chief of opposition-friendly radio “Ekho Moskvy” is now complaining that Navalny is also using his platform on social media as a way  to avoid answering questions from journalists. Continue reading “Russian Journalists Fear Navalny’s PR is Going the Trump Way”

Work Protests are on a (Slight) Downward Trend, but May be Moving to the Capitals

The “Center for Social and Labor Rights“, a Russian NGO who defends the right of Russian workers, has released its latest monthly monitoring of work-related protests throughout Russia. And it has a couple of interesting data points. Continue reading “Work Protests are on a (Slight) Downward Trend, but May be Moving to the Capitals”

Dirty Jobs: Being a Governor in Russia is Proving Tough

A version of this article was published on the Bear Market Brief’s website.

It’s a rough time to be a regional governor in Russia. Since last year, arrests and resignations of local leaders have piled up and accelerated in the last few weeks, with five governors gone since February. Described by some as a way for the Kremlin to prepare the presidential elections, whether by pumping “new blood” into Russia’s political system or by demonstrating its will to fight corruption at the highest level, the shake up is putting the regional establishment into a difficult position. Continue reading “Dirty Jobs: Being a Governor in Russia is Proving Tough”

Russian Media: The Kremlin is About to Get Tough on Navalny

Anonymous sources “close to the Kremlin” told independent outlet Dozhd the presidential administration is about to launch a campaign to discredit Alexey Navalny, Russia’s main opposition figure and presidential candidate. At the same time, a website claiming to reveal the “secret details” about “politicians, social activists and their organizations” released alleged bank statements claiming an anticorruption organization created by Navalny is funded thanks to an illegal “slush fund”. Continue reading “Russian Media: The Kremlin is About to Get Tough on Navalny”