Nr 103 • Märts 2012

Elixir of Live or Toxic Poison?

Young, liberal figures such as Alexei Navalny and Vladimir Milov are building bridges between democratic and nationalist wings of the protest movement. Will this marriage prove a mix that mobilises a nation against the Putin regime, or will it taint the legitimacy of both sides in years to come, asks Nicu Popescu?

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The Sense of an Ending

Blatantly rigged elections are the easiest way for the Putin regime to mimic the authoritarian power it does not possess. December’s protests destroyed Putin’s reputation of being in control; even genuinely competitive elections would be unable to restore his legitimacy.

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The first three articles of this issue of Diplomaatia offer reflections on Russian society before the Russian presidential elections on Sunday, March 4, whose outcome was widely considered to be fixed in advance. Looking at Russia from different perspectives, the authors of the articles appear to agree that although the Russian political system was, and still remains, far from democratic, democratic sentiments among the people are inevitably growing stronger. In addition, this issue features an analysis of the European Union in financial crisis, two articles inspired by the current heightened international attention on Iran and a review of two books on Estonian-Finnish connections.

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