Russia is increasingly involved in the Ukrainian crisis, both in the international arena and on the ground. Moscow is trying to persuade Kyiv that there is no military solution to the current crisis, which means negotiations with the insurgents in which Russia can be an invaluable mediator but not a party to the conflict itself.
The retaliatory measures that Russia has started using against countries joining the sanctions regime are at the moment most challenging to the Russian population and the country’s closest allies. Most importantly, they are also a surprise to a large part of the ruling elite, which does not know when or what measures the country’s leadership may be undertaking next.
Almost no attention is being paid in most federal entities to the local elections that are to take place in mid-September. Dominating support for the ruling elite and a lack of energy in the opposition are making the upcoming elections an easy victory for most incumbents.
Most Russians have a fragmented understanding of what sanctions their country is facing at the moment. A large majority cannot list the countries that have joined the sanctions regime besides the US, and only a small number of Russians can list any of the sanctions currently in effect against the country.
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