Hosting a BRICS summit and a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Operation allowed Russia to present both organizations as an alternative to the Western-led international institutions. Although other summit participants were reluctant to support Russia’s anti-Western rhetoric, the meetings demonstrated significant progress in both organizations’ agendas.
Several weeks ahead of the regional elections taking place in approximately one third of Russian federal entities, it is clear that no “non-systemic” opposition will be allowed to participate. Using apparent violations, regulators denied opposition parties registration for the election making the actual voting day largely irrelevant.
A federal ministry responsible for the Crimean economic development was dissolved due to an intra-government competition for influence and vast amounts of resources devoted to the development of peninsula.
Russian public is very confident that the country will be able to host well the upcoming 2018 Football World Cup. However, citizens small towns that will not host the Cup games are less confident that the Cup will be beneficial for the country.
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