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Post | Apr 22, 2021
After years of rapid expansion during President Vladimir Putin’s first stint as president, Russia's middle class has dwindled in the years since his return to office in 2012. Confrontation with the west after the annexation of Crimea, the resulting sanctions and the Kremlin’s focus on macroeconomic stability at the expense of prosperity have entrenched a stagnation which has hit middle-earners hard. By one count, Russia’s middle class shrunk 20 percent during the economic crisis that followed.

But even as their economic decline coincided with Russia’s more aggressive foreign policy, there is little evidence that Russia’s current and former middle-classers connect their plight to the Kremlin’s conduct beyond its borders. There may be economic discontent at home, but Russia’s confrontational stance against the west remains popular, and calls to reverse years of economic inertia focus squarely on what the government can do on the domestic front—meaning Putin feels little pressure from Russia’s long-suffering middle classes to change course on the world stage.
Digest | Apr 16, 2021
Analysis | Apr 15, 2021
The Belfer Center asked its experts to share their thoughts on the implications of the pipeline for Europe's security and energy supply, transatlantic relations and policy toward Russia, as well as what actions the U.S. and Europe should take at this point.
Analysis | Apr 15, 2021
Rojansky is a proponent of de-escalating tensions between Russia and the United States and identifying mutual areas of interest for cooperation. Check out our compilation for his observations and policy ideas.
Analysis | Apr 14, 2021
Not a day goes by without dire warnings of an imminent Russian military invasion of Ukraine, but Putin is unlikely to order an offensive against Ukraine unless Zelensky makes the first military move on the Donbass chessboard.
Analysis | Apr 13, 2021
Russia has shown it can help the U.S. on counterterrorism a great deal. Adversarial relations notwithstanding, there is more the two sides can do in terms of sharing both intelligence and expertise.
Analysis | Apr 13, 2021
Going overkill in terms of military maneuvers on the Ukrainian border now may avoid the need to do terrible things at a later point.
Digest | Apr 09, 2021