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 The New York Times

Dmitri A. Muratov, a new laureate, engages with the Kremlin, while Aleksei A. Navalny, the most high-profile Putin critic, resists all compromise. The Kremlin capitalizes on the fault line.

The anger showed how Russia’s opposition is atomized and weakened — all the more so as the authorities escalate their crackdown on dissent, forcing activist groups and news outlets to shut down and ever more dissidents and journalists into exile. In the Kremlin, seeing the internecine war of words in the opposition over Mr. Muratov’s award must have touched off “euphoria,” said Tatiana Stanovaya, the founder of R.Politik, a political analysis firm.

“When you live under the barrel of a gun, such times lead to divisions,” Ms. Stanovaya said. “The authorities do a wonderful job capitalizing on this.”

Indeed, Mr. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, congratulated Mr. Muratov, calling him talented and brave.


Comment for Foreign Policy

The Kremlin’s Don’t-Get-Out-the-Vote Campaign

Russia isn’t cracking heads ahead of this weekend’s parliamentary vote—just boring people away from the polls.

By , a Moscow-based journalist covering Russia and the former Soviet Union.
SEPTEMBER 16, 2021, 11:20 AM

But voters are hardly clamoring to cast ballots in a vote that occurs only once every five years—and that some believe may soon be a relic of the past. Instead, signs of the coming election are so scant the authorities seem to be doing their utmost to ensure it passes unnoticed. Amid stagnating real wages and plunging popular support for the ruling party, United Russia, they are betting on strong turnout from a select contingent of society: members of the military and law enforcement, retirees who watch government-controlled TV, and the vast population of state workers invested in a continuation of the status quo. Everyone else, the message goes, can stay home.

“They’re ‘drying’ the turnout. If you make the elections boring, and limit discussion, people will think there is no agenda and nothing to decide, and their vote won’t change anything,” said Tatiana Stanovaya, the founder of political consultancy R.Politik. “And this is very convenient for the Kremlin.”


Comment for The Moscow Times

Deripaska-Linked Firms Sent Thousands to Moscow On Election Day. Some Said They Were On Standby for a Pro-Kremlin Rally.

Around 11,000 employees came to the capital for an online conference covering topics from family values to geopolitics.


Ahead of the vote, local media outlets obtained audio recordings of Rusal bosses at some plants instructing divisional heads on how to get workers to vote for United Russia.

“Deripaska believes that closeness to Putin’s circle and readiness to serve is a kind of political protection from possible political risks. He’s more vulnerable and thus more dependent on the political situation. Because of this, he has to invest more into some political moves to prove to the Kremlin that he’s ready to fight for its priorities,” said political analyst Tatiana Stanovaya.

“He behaves in a way that Putin really likes. And Deripaska worships Putin, he looks at him like he’s a god. He’s ready to demonstrate his complete willingness to do anything Putin wants. It’s a special case,” added Stanovaya.


Comment for Russia Matters

Expert Survey: Will the Outcome of Russia’s Elections Impact Its Foreign Policy?

September 24, 2021

Tatiana Stanovaya

Nonresident Scholar, Carnegie Moscow Center; Founder and CEO, R.Politik

Several points: (a) The elections create more grounds to raise the issues of “foreign interference” into Russian internal affairs. New criminal cases; more pressure on the media and, importantly, on foreign IT platforms. That may lead to growing tension with Western countries. (b) The campaign has weakened the stance of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. He has become politically more vulnerable with growing chances to leave his post (maybe not today though). (c) Despite changes in the State Duma, the lower chamber will remain one of the most important advocates of hawkish approaches to foreign policy.


Comment for The Washington Post

Putin slams ‘cancel culture’ and trans rights, calling teaching gender fluidity ‘crime against humanity’

October 22, 2021 at 4:54 a.m. EDT

The Thursday remarks reflect efforts to rally “hardcore conservatives and supporters of traditional values” around Putin, wrote Tatiana Stanovaya, head of the Moscow-based R.Politik think tank, on a Telegram channel.

“This ideological spin, which is becoming more and more official and concrete, is the main aid to repressions, much stronger than any election,” she said.

Putin is trying to show that he “stands for values that will not divide society and throw it into chaos,” said Matthew Sussex, a Russia expert at the Australian National University. “On the one hand, it’s a unifying message. But on the other hand, it does hit … the transgender and gay communities that the Russian government has continued to target.”


Comment for The Washington Post

Russia’s Communists Are Putin’s Next Headache

By Clara Ferreira Marques | Bloomberg
September 30, 2021
But the rise of these voices and the discontent with living standards that they have been able to harness represent a threat — one the Kremlin will need to modulate. As Tatiana Stanovaya of political consultancy R.Politik points out, the aim here will not be total destruction, as it was with Navalny, but instead a weaker and tamer party, back in its subservient role. For instance, while the likes of Grudinin, even more dangerous for not being radical youths, were conspicuously sidelined, the Kremlin has avoided other confrontations. When party officials rallied against electoral fraud in Moscow last weekend, police merely used blaring music to drown out the speakers.
Russia Analytical Report, Sept. 20-27, 2021

“Parliamentary elections in Russia matter to the West inasmuch as they are a barometer of the degree of political competitionand or repression inside Russia,” writes Prof. Angela Stent, while Carnegie’s Tatiana Stanovaya argues that the election “detects internal splits … within the ruling elite over the problem of how to deal with the ruling party,” thus helping “us to better understand the nature of decision making in the Russian leadership.” Carnegie’s Andrei Kolesnikov writes that “the fight against so-called foreign agents and undesirable organizations will continue,” which “along with the Kremlin’s historical policy of describing Russia’s entire history as a defense against the West, is at the heart of current ideology and propaganda.” Meanwhile, Director of the Levada Center Denis Volkov notes that the West does not “show much interest in parliamentary elections in Russia, not considering routine diplomatic inquiries, purely academic observations and rather ritualistic denunciations of the non-democratic character of Russian elections.”


Comment for The New Statesman

Depression without protest: the aftermath of Russia’s 2021 election

The introduction of mysterious online voting results is further undermining democratic freedoms.

By Felix Light, 21 September 2021

Meanwhile, the opposition was in little condition to put up a fight, broken as it is by the repression and arrests that followed the winter protests against Navalny’s jailing, and disoriented by an unprecedented assault on independent media and civil society organisations – the bulk of which are now designated “foreign agents”. Even before Google and Apple wipedNavalny’s smart voting app from their platforms under threat of criminal prosecution, the utter failure of the Navalny protests sent anti-Kremlin Russians into a “state of political depression”, political analyst Tatiana Stanovaya told me.

A few nights before polls opened, I witnessed this depression for myself at a rally for the leading opposition candidate in Moscow’s wealthy, anti-Kremlin centre. At the event, held in a quiet park just off the New Arbat shopping thoroughfare, both campaign staffers and empty chairs outnumbered actual voters, of whom there were no more than ten. The candidate – a burly, weather-beaten veteran of the Yeltsin-era Duma who would go on to receive an endorsement from Navalny – insisted on addressing the intimate gathering using a loudhailer. “I’m using this thing,” he said at one point, averting his eyes sheepishly, “just in case someone hears and decides to come over.”

Comment for Le Monde

Les élections en Russie, un exercice d’imitation et d’autocélébration

Fraudes et nettoyage du champ politique ont marqué les élections législatives russes des 17-19 septembre, remportées par le parti Russie unie de Vladimir Poutine.


Publié le 23 septembre 2021
Résultat, l’opinion et le pouvoir ont « des conversations très différentes », écrit la politologue Tatiana Stanovaya. « Le gouvernement a ses priorités politiques qui n’intéressent pas l’électorat et l’électorat a ses propres priorités qui n’intéressent pas le gouvernement. »

Durant la campagne, les deux têtes de listes de Russie Unie, les ministres Sergueï Lavrov et Sergueï Choïgou, ont plus volontiers parlé de passé que d’avenir. M. Lavrov s’est illustré par sa défense de la mémoire de Staline, dont la diabolisation participerait de l’offensive occidentale contre la Russie. M. Choïgou, lui, a voulu parler d’avenir en suggérant la construction de villes nouvelles en Sibérie, autour de pôles technologies – une simple réminiscence des cités monoindustrielles soviétiques.


Comment for CNN

Putin signs law banning ‘extremists’ from running in elections, on Navalny’s birthday

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