Russian Domestic and Foreign Policy

On the Qualities of Russian Teflon

As anyone familiar with kitchenware knows, after years of use Teflon tends to wear off. And that seems to be what has happened to Russia’s former and would-be president, Vladimir Putin. November 20, when he was booed at a Moscow stadium, may have signified the end of an era. Putin’s genuine popularity has been the cornerstone of the Russian political system – the facilitating factor – ever since late 1999. With that popularity eroding, the system will find it increasingly difficult to continue functioning the way it used to, as its potential to adapt and change remains questionable.

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The mentality of the Russian elite and society and its influence on foreign policy (Executive Summary)

The difficulty of explaining Russia’s international behavior has troubled foreign policy observers for many years and has received renewed attention since Russia’s invasion of Georgia in August 2008. This report by Kadri Liik looks into the mentality of the current Russian elite and society, with a view to finding some explanations for Russia’s aggressive behavior, and exploring its drivers and limits.

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