Control issues

RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - Report 08 Sep 2017 by Alexey Dolinskiy

Russia’s leadership had not really expected that a long-delayed response to expulsion of Russian diplomats from the US and Congressional anti-Russian sanctions would be met with yet another move from the US. After Russian diplomatic properties in the US were closed by a US decision, the Kremlin used several communication channels to indicate that Russia is not interested in further escalation, yet it can still reply if needed.

Russian communications regulation and law enforcement agencies launched a new phase in their internet control efforts by introducing specific requirements regarding internet companies’ reporting of user information. Although still raw and not entirely enforceable, the new step introduces another chapter in the Russian government’s control over its country’s citizens.

The federal center is solidifying its official and unofficial control over the federal entities by denying even the most prominent of political figures the last symbolic elements of independent decision making. The Republic of Tatarstan is the last one to have its own president as well as a bilateral agreement on the separation of authorities with Moscow, yet the Kremlin was reluctant to extend that situation further.

With Russia continuing to invest in its defense industry, the majority of Russians believe that employment in the sector comes with a high position in society and a matching income. This belief is considerably stronger among the younger generation.

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