Cover Osteuropa 6/2020

In Osteuropa 6/2020

Action and reaction
Russia: protest movements within the authoritarian system

Jan Matti Dollbaum

Deutsche Fassung


In Russia, the authoritarian regime has imposed increasingly stringent restrictions on civic life since 2000. Even so, protest movements still continue to exist to this day. When they have specific social or local goals, they are occasionally successful. However, if they direct their efforts against the regime as a whole, they are suppressed using the means of a police state. The regime sets the limits regarding what is deemed acceptable. Since the large protests against electoral fraud in the winter of 2012/2013, these boundaries of acceptability have been drawn ever tighter. In order to split society, the Kremlin styles itself as the upholder of “traditional values” and agitates against many different social groupings. Differences between Russia’s regions have been levelled out by the rigorous imposition of the power vertical. In Perm, once an important centre of organised civil society, the situation today is hardly different to that in Rostov on Don, where the suppressive measures had already been applied again during the 1990s.

(Osteuropa 6/2020, pp. 109–120)