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Russians feel the pain of Vladimir Putin’s regime

“The essence of this response is the attempts of the institutions of power to individually prove to Putin their ‘political responsibility’ and ‘trustworthiness’,” says Tatiana Stanovaya, founder of R. Politik, a political consultancy. “As the saying goes, ‘those who can protect themselves, save themselves’. This is the erosion of the regime.” …
“The current criminal prosecution of the opposition resembles the protests of 2012 [against Mr Putin’s return to the presidency]. However, there is a fundamental difference — then Putin was personally involved in the promotion of this response?.?.?.?It was clear that this was a matter of principle for him,” says Ms Stanovaya. “This means that criminal prosecution [now] will not necessarily be ‘holistic’ and thoughtful, but rather chaotic and conflicting,” she adds. “After all, it is one thing to not let [the opposition] take part in the polls, and quite another to sweep away all the unwanted people into police trucks.”

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