As Russia’s economic crisis deepens, President Vladimir Putin will need to turn his attention to keeping the lid on domestic discontent. But Putin’s understanding of the imperial nature of the Russian state could potentially hamper his ability to craft policies that give the country the best chance of avoiding a repeat of history.
Some experts in Russia are cautioning that the Kremlin’s unwillingness to address problems connected with the country’s imperial features is starting to pose a risk to the state’s territorial integrity.
Mortgage protests in Kazakhstan are becoming a familiar sight. In attention-grabbing demonstrations over the past couple of days, crowds have swarmed around banks in the commercial capital, Almaty, loudly banging pots and pans and blowing whistles.
“Down with banks!” chanted the two dozen people who took to the streets of Almaty on February 2.
With a high-profile trial in Armenia set to resume in which a Russian soldier stands accused of murdering a family of seven, observers wonder whether the loose ends connected to the case will ever be wrapped up. Russia is not eager to see light shined on systemic flaws within its military structure.
Prices for basic goods are creeping up in Tajikistan, and Russia’s economic woes are forcing Tajik labor migrants to return home. That spells trouble for hundreds of thousands of Tajiks who are struggling to stay above the poverty line.