Wednesday, April 24, 2024

2011 Arab Spring More than Election Fraud Protests Behind Kremlin’s Turn to Repression a Decade Ago, Yakovlev Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Apr. 20 – The Arab Sprin in 2011 had “much greater influence” on the thinking of Vladimir Putin and his regime than did the protests in Russia that took place at about the same time a decade ago in leading the Kremlin to adopt a more repressive and aggressive set of policies, according to Andrey Yakovlev.

            Russia’s elites did not expect the protests, the Rusisan scholar who studied popular attitudes in Moscow then and who is now at Harvard’s Davis Center says; but they experienced real fear about their personal survival because of what was happening in the Middle East (

            Putin experienced such fears, but he was able to move so quickly toward repression and then aggression precisely because so many others in Russian elites, including the top bureaucracy, the siloviki, and the most important business leaders, felt them too and were prepared to support the Kremlin leader’s policies because they did.

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