Russia Nervously Watching Events in the Middle East
by Robert Coalson
Authoritarian regimes across the Middle East and North Africa are falling apart one by one. Even oil-rich states like Libya, Bahrain, and Oman are not immune to the unrest.
But what about Russia?
The ruling United Russia party, which has controlled all institutions and levels of government since the beginning of the Vladimir Putin era a decade ago, is confident in the country’s stability.
United Russia Duma Deputy Andrei Isayev said this week: “There will be no revolution in Russia. There are no grounds for that, no reasons.” He added that the Russian people have seen that the so-called colored revolutions in Ukraine, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan “didn’t bring anything positive.”
But the mere fact that representatives of the ruling elite are issuing such statements indicates the prevalence of such concerns. A recent poll by the Levada Center found that 38 percent of Russians think “the Egypt scenario” is possible in Russia, while 43 percent think such a development is unlikely.
The Public Opinion Foundation made headlines with a survey that found that 49 percent of Russians are prepared to participate in protest demonstrations, up 9 percentage points from a month ago.
A Lack Of Electoral Legitimacy