Old Actors In New Roles

RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - Report 11 Feb 2016 by Alexey Dolinskiy

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has become extremely vocal in demonstrating his support of President Putin and has even directly threatened his political opponents, in the midst of suspicions of his connection to the murder of former deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov. Kadyrov’s active involvement in federal politics may be an indication of the need to showcase his value to the President as federal law enforcement grows increasingly irritated with him.

US and UK officials’ mention of President Putin’s alleged personal involvement in the murder of former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko and corruption in Russia has caused deep concern in Moscow as the Russian elite needs to demonstrate its undivided loyalty to its national leader. The new statements have increased Russia’s mistrust of the West and further complicated international negotiations.

The Kremlin is initiating yet another pro-government liberal party to divide the educated portion of the electorate ahead of the September 2016 parliamentary elections. This strategy has worked several times in the past and is likely to succeed again.

Russians believe that higher education in the country is less affordable than it was during the Soviet period. However, their estimate of its quality is higher than in the last year of the USSR.

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