Tracing Russia’s (Post-Pandemic) Future: Public Opinion and the Crisis of Late Putinism

One of the most significant global trends in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the entrenchment of authoritarian regimes across the globe. Russia, however, has been uncharacteristically absent from this pattern. While strongmen like Hungary’s Viktor Orbán and China’s Xi Jinping have used the crisis to consolidate their power and influence, Russia’s Vladimir Putin – previously the top “innovator” in this field – has been struggling to maintain his popular standing and to legitimize the extension of his rule beyond the end of his current term in office in 2024. What do these trends mean for the future of Russia and Putin’s regime? Dr. Matovski’s presentation will examine key trends in Russian public opinion, as well as the strategies that the Putin regime might employ to extend its reign.

Aleksandar Matovski is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science at Williams College and an Associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. He holds a PhD in Government from Cornell University, a MA in War Studies from King’s College London, and a BA in Law from Saints Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje.