What Putin needs to do after Sunday’s mass protests

New protests in Russia point to the fundamental flaw of the regime of President of Russia Vladimir Putin: at the heart of his government is the most corrupt system that has the patience of Russians. If Putin does not find a way to cope with their frustration, for him and for Russia could end up not too good.


Sunday, March 26, tens of thousands of people took to the streets in over 80 cities across Russia as a result of the publication of the results of the investigation concerning the Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and held by the Fund against corruption, headed by opposition leader Alexei Navalny. In the Fund the movie which has already garnered over 13 million views on YouTube, tells of yachts, vineyards, luxury residences Medvedev in Russia and abroad, some of which were paid by influential businessmen, obliged their success to the mercy of the government.

Despite the fact that last Sunday’s protests were relatively small compared to the demonstrations of 2011-2012, when people protested against rigged results of the parliamentary elections and when on the streets a lot of young Russians, they became vociferous criticism against Putin and his repressive approach to management. For more than 10 years, he ignored the principles of rule of law to enrich his allies and to punish opponents, and this approach has filtered down the bureaucratic hierarchy, undermining the foundations of entrepreneurship and limiting the opportunities of future generations. Orchestrated elections allowed him to strengthen control over the legislative bodies, while expanding the chasm that separates him from the people.


What Putin can do right now? If he will sacrifice Medvedev, even if he really wants it won’t change anything because the corrupt system will remain in place. Most favorable for Russia and her people, the reaction is the beginning of real fight against corruption, strengthen property rights, holding free and fair elections — also very unlikely, because in this case, Putin will have to let go of the levers of power. However, business as usual is not a solution: if a significant number of Russians will lose patience and decide that there is no alternative, they can make a choice in favor of the revolution — such a scenario could lead to the formation of a regime that will be even worse than Putin’s regime.


Presidential elections in Russia, which will take place in 2018, give Putin a chance to make a small step in the right direction. Navalny said that he wants to work within the system and participate in the race, despite all the Kremlin’s attempts to disqualify him and on the government’s control over all major Russian media. If you give Bulk a chance to participate in the elections, it may become a release valve for the discontent of the Russians, to increase the degree of legitimacy of the regime of the winner and may even help to find new ways of solving Russia’s problems. If Putin sincerely believes in his sky-high ratings, perhaps he should be afraid of the competition?