Political scientist Tatyana Stanovaya writes about how the Kremlin regime has changed over the past year after the presidential terms were canceled, the assassination attempt on Navalny and the adoption of new prohibitive laws, believing that the main result of this transformation is the intensification of repressions and pogroms perpetrated by the opposition. But there are others.
Firstly, this is the weakening of coordination of actions and political control, which began with the arrival of Kiriyenko in the Kremlin. It was he who destroyed the old system of overseeing domestic politics, and his attempts to build controlled competition degenerated into a policy of administration and ultimatums. There was a demarcation between the curators from the presidential administration and the security forces, who actually criminalized the non-systemic opposition. Therefore, purely political problems (protests, elections, exposure of abuses of power), the authorities ceased to solve pointwise and coordinatedly, and began to use methods of combating crime. Moreover, fighting no longer with individual oppositionists, but with the anti-regime protest as such, which is understood as broadly as possible - not only going out, but also posts and reposts on social networks, and in general any criticism of the regime. There is no doubt that, having defeated the non-systemic opposition, the government will simply take over all citizens disloyal to it. And this will happen without any coordination and analysis of the consequences - routinely.
The adoption of toughening laws has already been put on the assembly line, which more and more resembles a snowball: as much as possible, tougher and more irreconcilable. Thus, all doubters and vacillators will be swept out of the Russian political class.
Another feature of the regime is also characteristic - complete and ostentatious disregard of laws and legal procedures, without the previous observance of decency - here and the "hemp" vote, and the "exit" trial over Navalny, and the retroactive force of new prohibitions on participation in elections - even external legitimacy has lost for power its worth. Instead, the logic of wartime acts, which justifies any violation of the law. There is no need to fuss with enemies and show weakness.
Secondly, the expert notes a change in the composition of decision-makers: instead of strong figures, they are inconspicuous, but quick-witted performers. These are thousands of manual controls at the level of power structures, federal and regional authorities, parliamentarians and pro-Putin activists, while Putin, who was once engaged in manual control, completely removed himself from it, becoming a kind of background that preserves the system.
Repression is now being carried out on a routine but large-scale basis by thousands of employees, without bearing any political responsibility. Now it doesn't matter who they take, it is important to take at least someone who can be pulled under the definition of "anti-regime".
This collective irresponsibility makes it nearly impossible to resist repression. So the curators of domestic politics do not feel responsibility for what is happening with Navalny, since the FSB is in charge of him, and she does not feel responsibility, since Navalny is a headache for the curators. Vicious circle.
With this approach, there is no and cannot be any strategy, political problems are solved at once by everything, and no one decides, and therefore "opposition" becomes toxic in all spheres. For posts and re-posts, for participating in actions, for simple criticism, they are expelled from universities, fired from jobs, and reprimanded by parents in schools.
All links of the system by all means get rid of everything that is in the slightest degree oppositional, so that nothing threatens them, even theoretically - this happens in government bodies, and in parties, and in private companies and is, in fact, a manifestation of the instinct of self-preservation.
In all likelihood, Putin is confident that he has built a stable system, and therefore the non-systemic opposition can be completely destroyed, since, in his opinion, there is a strong and responsible party in power, as well as a constructive systemic opposition, and healthy competition between them. Therefore, there will be no radical changes in United Russia, and no new party projects. This system will be defended by the siloviki, leaving the upbringing and enlightenment of the people to the curators in order to nurture the "correct" elite and suppress destructive behavior. Hence, there are so many patriotic projects such as "Leaders of Russia", "Russia - a country of opportunities", volunteers, the "Knowledge" society with Elon Musk ... Therefore, an enlightened patriot becomes the image of an ideal citizen.
And everything that interferes with such upbringing must be eradicated. Through the same law that outraged all normal people, the law on the regulation of educational activities. Incidentally, this also testifies to the fact that the government does not recognize society's capacity to act and the right to make decisions, and therefore replaces elections with plebiscites, at which pre-prepared decisions are formally approved.
According to the expert, in public affairs that require flexibility, pure professionalism can be risky, which is confirmed by the scandals with the same Uyba in Komi. And the reliance on the FSB in the fight against the non-systemic opposition also turns into the fact that everyone is already registered as extremists and cleaned out.
In addition, this practice leads to the fact that the decisions of some power circles contradict the interests of others, as was the case with the rise in prices, when the administration drew attention to this problem, and the government had to get out by urgently resorting to ineffective, voluntary-compulsory price regulation. The same is true in the scandal with the Czech Republic, where the SVR did not take into account the interests of the Russian embassies in Europe. The same is with the regions, when the Kremlin will demand not to stir up hysteria with the coronavirus, and the governors did not know what to do with the sick ...
It is because of this practice that decisions turn out to be one-sided and conflicting, and society remains out of work, because no public discussion of problems is provided.
The expert is sure that the Russian regime over the past year has degenerated to such an extent that talks about a successor and changes are no longer relevant, but it is necessary to prepare for a long-term conservation and tough rules of political behavior. Now the opposition is as follows: there is pro-regime and anti-regime, read - criminal.
Consequently, pressure on the media and control over the Internet and any public activity will increase. But at the same time, the new, fragmented decision-making system will force the authorities to make more and more mistakes. Yes, the protest will be suppressed, the real opposition will be regionalized, the fight against the anti-regime will be extended to the systemic parties and systemic journalists, but at the same time Putin's vulnerability will only grow - he is turning into a symbol whose institutional significance is increasing, while real personal influence is decreasing.