In the MEDIA

R.Politik CEO and founder, Tatiana Stanovaya, is regularly quoted by major Russian and international media outlets. She is available for commentary in Russian and English.

All articles published by Tatiana Stanovaya and R.Politik’s other editors and analysts will be included here. 

Comment for Reuters

“Russia is my country”: Despite risks, Kremlin critic Navalny to fly home

Tatiana Stanovaya, head of political analysis firm R.Politik, said the Kremlin had repeatedly raised expectations that Navalny would be arrested and not doing so would risk being seen as weak by conservatives and the security forces.

“The situation with Navalny is very like two trains heading towards each other doomed unavoidably to collide,” Stanovaya wrote on messaging app Telegram.

Staying in Germany was a political risk for Navalny. Anti-Kremlin opposition figures have struggled in the past to retain influence from outside Russia, which holds a parliamentary election in September.


Comment for CNN
By Mary Ilyushina, Sebastian Shukla, Angela Dewan and Caitlin Hu
January 17, 2021

If Navalny is not convicted later in January, he will still face an investigation for a newer fraud case, in which he and his Anti-Corruption Foundation have been accused of misusing donations from supporters.

In a video address posted on his Instagram last month, Navalny called the new criminal cases brought up against him in Russia “demonstratively fabricated” and an attempt to prevent him from coming back to Russia.

“The situation with Navalny looks like two trains running towards each other at full speed, bound to collide,” said Tatiana Stanovaya, a non-resident scholar at the Carnegie Moscow Center. “There will be many victims.”


Comment for The New York Times

The announcement of his return came two days after Russia’s prison authority petitioned a court to imprison Mr. Navalny for what it said was violating the terms of an earlier suspended prison sentence.

Remarks: “They are doing everything they can to scare me,” Mr. Navalny said of the Russian authorities in an Instagram post. “But I don’t much care about what they are doing. Russia is my country, Moscow is my city, and I miss them.”

Analysis: “The Kremlin has gone so far in its game of raising the stakes, sharply increasing expectations that Navalny will be arrested, that not arresting him will be seen by conservatives and security officials as a show of weakness,” Tatiana Stanovaya, of the Carnegie Moscow Center, said. “They expected that he would not return.”


Comment for The Financial Times

Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny to return to Russia on Sunday

Poisoned opposition activist faces legal threats and prospect of jail


Comment for The Financial Times

Alexei Navalny is Russian for ‘domestic enemy number one’

Arrest of opposition activist has only elevated his status as a symbol of repression

, Europe editor

Until last year’s poisoning the authorities had sought to contain him with harassment, repeated arrests, short detentions and disqualifications from office. Now they are likely to lock him up for a long time. Upon his arrival on Sunday, he was arrested for flouting the terms of a suspended sentence for fraud that he (and the European Court of Human Rights) says is trumped up. On Monday, Mr Navalny was sentenced to 30 days in jail after a summary hearing, for which he was given one minute’s notice. He could face another three years behind bars when the case returns to court. Other embezzlement charges are pending.

“For the authorities, how they viewed Navalny changed not as much after he was poisoned, but after the . . . FSB exposés. No longer is he a small-time crook, but an enemy who must be humiliated, crushed, punished,” says Tatiana Stanovaya of political consultancy R Politik.


Article for Carnegie Moscow Center

What Will 2021 Bring the Russian Regime and Society?

by Tatiana Stanovaya

15 January, 2021

The system is consuming itself, with each part of it trying to survive separately at the expense of its neighbor. In this situation, society is a hostage of the battle for survival, and an expendable component in political experiments.

For Russia, 2020 would have been a pivotal year even without the novel coronavirus pandemic: constitutional reform resulted in a new political regime that functions according to a different logic, has a different kind of relationship with society and the opposition, and reacts in a new way to problems. Much that seemed unbelievable and exceptional last year could soon become the new normal. The main political speculation of the year was that President Vladimir Putin could step down. That didn’t happen, of course, but the gradual and inexorable removal of Putin from the decisionmaking process is undeniable. Putin may rarely be off the nation’s TV screens, but he is to all intents and purposes absent: he comments, criticizes, and boasts of successes, but he himself merely observes and orders proposals to be drawn up.


Commentary for Der Spiegel

“The Kremlin Will from Now on View Germany as Being Controlled By the U.S.”

German-Russian Relations at a New Low
German relations with Russia have soured following the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny and the brazen assassination of a Chechen asylum-seeker in Berlin. At times, Moscow has been baffled by Germany’s stances.
By Christian Esch in Moscow
January 7, 2021
Now people in Moscow are arguing over how to deal with the reproaches from Berlin. Lavrov’s brusque language comes across like a preemptive offensive. But his style is still too defensive for the hawks in the Kremlin, says political analyst Stanovaya. “For these people, in the Kremlin and in the intelligence services, diplomacy is an outdated tool. They believe that war has been declared on Russia, so there should be an end to the constant justifications. One of their representatives told me: We must carry out the attack on the territory of Europe.”
This may explain the strange meeting at which Foreign Minister Lavrov spoke with representatives of the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party on Dec. 8, just after his speech about the state of the world at the Russian International Affairs Council. Lavrov spent nearly three hours with Tino Chrupalla, the co-head of the AfD. “I don’t think the initiative came from the Foreign Ministry,” says Stanovaya. “Many of the diplomats there were surprised.” After all, just a short time before, Lavrov’s ministry had presented a cautionary report on the glorification of Nazism by political forces in Europe. The AfD also made an appearance in the report. When it comes to historical narratives and the Nazi era, Russians are very sensitive. That Lavrov nevertheless agreed to the meeting shows the extent to which the Foreign Ministry has become an executive body. “It’s gradually turning into Russia’s press office,” Stanovaya says. And this press office makes far harsher statements about Berlin than the Kremlin itself.
Commentary for WSJ

After Momentous 2020, Russia’s Putin Enters New Year as Powerful as Ever

Kremlin leader takes action to cement his rule, repel challenges and spread Russia’s influence in moves that signal what’s likely to come next year

The adoption in July of changes to the nation’s 1990s-era constitution marked a pivotal moment for the Russian leader. It reflects a belief in the Kremlin that Mr. Putin enjoys popular support for an extension of his power, despite polls showing an erosion of enthusiasm for his leadership, said Tatiana Stanovaya, founder of R.Politik, an independent political analysis firm. “He could finally realize his dream to create a real Putin regime with his own constitution and system,” she said.

“What I see is that the regime has lost any ability to compromise, to tolerate any critics, and it has lost the ability to deal with any political risks in a peaceful manner,” Ms. Stanovaya said. “The only way it knows how to behave is to use repression.” In the coming year, the Kremlin could further cow Russia’s systemic opposition, or opposition groups and political parties tolerated by the government. Meanwhile, opposition groups such as the one Mr. Navalny leads will be suppressed—or possibly destroyed, analysts say.


Commentary for TIME

How Russia’s Opposition Movement Wants Biden to Confront Putin

NOVEMBER 17, 2020

While the U.S. has “by any objective measure” been successful in imposing the Global Magnitsky Act, which applies to all foreign human rights abuses and corrupt officials, it has been “wrong” not to sanction more Russians under the Magnitsky Act, says Bill Browder, CEO of Hermitage Capital. Browder was Magnitsky’s client in the corruption case surrounding his death, and has been campaigning against corruption and human rights abuses in Russia ever since. Under Obama, such sanctions were introduced on a yearly basis, but under Trump there were no new sanctions in 2018 or so far this year, says Browder.

Browder expects that Biden will ramp up the pressure on Putin over his human rights record. “I think it’s going to be a big theme,” he says. Analysts including Tatiana Stanovaya, CEO of R.Politik, a political analysis firm, agrees. “Russia expects Biden to tighten sanction policies and react more fiercely to human rights abuses,” she says. And that might help to explain the Kremlin’s silence on Biden’s win. “The Magnitsky Act was one of the most upsetting things to happen to Putin in his dealings with the U.S.”, says Browder.


Commentary for Bloomberg

The Vaccines That Could Use a Shot in the Arm

China and Russia came roaring out of the gate in the race to stop Covid-19 but have got little credit. Transparency might help.

Yet with scarce data and plenty of government promotion, the dash for approvals and show over results has not translated into impressive diplomatic or domestic wins. For Russia, manufacturing hiccups haven’t helped at home, nor have accusations from several countries in July that Moscow-backed hackers tried to steal research. According to an October survey by the Levada Center, an independent pollster, 59% of Russians questioned said they would not take the vaccination. As Tatiana Stanovaya, head of political consultancy R.Politik put it to me, the Kremlin, which saw the vaccine as a question of pride and self-affirmation, simply overdid the hype. The result has been an acute lack of public trust.

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