Russia’s security challenges in the North Caucasus region continue as the federal law enforcement and local elites dispute control over the situation. In some republics, the federal center has more power while in others it is forced to rely entirely on the local leadership. However, in both cases local elites benefit from continued insurgence as it justifies increased federal funding with little oversight.
The ruling elite continue to increase control over Internet communication in Russia trying to curb the opposition. The authorities force Internet companies to store their users’ data on servers located in Russia and block online media that allegedly violate national regulations.
Changes occur in Putin’s near circle as one of his closest people Vladimir Yakunin was relieved of his position in Russian Railways. That means that in the current economic conditions even the closest may need to demonstrate efficiency, not just loyalty.
Three quarters of largest Russian cities’ population (and two thirds of the country’s total) believe that emigration is an important problem for the country as approximately one quarter of the country’s population believes it is increasing year over year.
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