Contrary you might think, I’m not in Russia, even if I enjoy wishing you a merry Christmas hoping you spend it with your family and your beloved people.
This Christmas is quite calm politically speaking in France. Nonetheless, we have to leave the Hexagon and go to Russia if you want to see movement.
Indeed, thousands of Russians recently demonstrated in the streets of Moscow to denounce the outcome of the 4th December legislative elections, won by “United Russia”, the current presidential party in spite of important soupcons of fraud. Since when, the wrath of citizens, backed by the opposition, is increasing despites some concessions done by the Putin – Medvedev tandem, which are still satisfying nobody.
The huge mobilization is quite surprising insofar as the current power rules Russia with an iron hand. A non-shared power hugely symbolized and embodied by Vladimir Putin who was counting on his prestige and his authority to get the (more or less wished) support of his compatriots to stand for a third presidential mandate.
This hypothesis is questioning now, which seemed to be impossible to consider, only a month ago. Some supports of the current Russian Prime minister even begin to demand the leave of Putin, as Mikhail Gorbachev, last USRR president and CPSU general secretary (the former soviet communist party).
And some analysts are already dealing with a Russian spring, referring to the Arab spring in the Middle East. This is an expression we have to consider carefully insofar as if there is clearly a political contestation in the Russian Federation, the Medvedev – Putin tandem has still important supports inside as outside Russia (for example in the rural populations). What is more, Russia being a strategic country and ally, some people are more interests keeping the status quo than encouraging major political changes in the country.
In spite of all, the genuine mobilization of the latest days shows nothing is written in advance and that the one who thought become president of Russia thanks to his lawfulness and the passivity of his compatriots will have to be smart and strategic to reach his objective.
But, what the other international leaders are going to do vis-à-vis Russia, especially if the situation is getting worse? This is another story!