As Russia approaches its Presidential election in March 2018, a wave of protests and political mobilisation has shone a new light on the state of Russia’s political opposition. Russian opposition activists have experienced a particularly difficult period since the crack down on the last mass protests in 2012 and the introduction of new laws, which have severely limited opportunities for a free expression and association. Many NGOs were branded “foreign agents”, while the Russian state has control over the media and even the internet. Yet a new generation of Russians are defying protest bans to express their stand against corruption and the lack of genuine political competition. With the latest opinion polls indicating that Russians are increasingly looking for change in their lives and a new generation of activists forming across many Russian regions, can the 2018 elections open a new window of opportunity for Russia’s democratic opposition? This event will analyse the evolution of protests movements in Russia, relations between opposition and the state and the prospects for a more open political system in Russia in the future. The panel discussion will be followed by the screening of Nemtsov, a documentary film about the late leader of the Russian opposition, which was directed by his friend and colleague Vladimir Kara-Murza.
The film is in Russian, with English subtitles. The screening will be followed by a discussion with Vladimir Kara-Murza.
Vladimir Kara-Murza (@vkaramurza), Vice chairman of “Open Russia”, and director of the documentary film Nemtsov.
Richard Sakwa, University of Kent, author of The Crisis of Russian Democracy: The Dual State, Factionalism and the Medvedev Succession.
Tomila Lankina is Professor of International Relations at the LSE’s International Relations Department.
Vladimir Ashurkov, Executive Director of the Anti-Corruption Foundation and associate of the Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny.
Oksana Antonenko is a visiting senior fellow at the Institute of Global Affairs at the London School of Economic and Political Science. Her current research focuses on political economy of illiberal democracies. She is also working on developing methodology for assessing long term political risks for international investors associated with rising populism, weak institutions and governance failures. Her regional expertise covers Russia, Turkey, Central Asia and Eastern Europe.
The Institute of Global Affairs (@LSEIGA ), its Global Policy Lab and eight constituent centres bring together LSE faculty and students from across departments to design research-based and locally rooted solutions to global challenges.
Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSENemtsov