The March 2012 elections in Russia seem likely to return Vladimir Putin to power for a third presidential term, despite rising levels of discontent and the ruling party’s dwindling popularity. What is the nature of the system over which Putin has presided, and how has it dealt with the challenges facing this vast multi-ethnic state in the wake of the traumas of the 1990s and in face of the global downturn since 2008? Tony Wood is Deputy Editor of theNew Left Review, contributes regularly to Le Monde Diplomatique, and has written extensively about Russia. He will look at the current situation there in the light of the forthcoming elections, and at Russia’s relationships with the outside world.
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