Lankina, Tomila V. (2016) It’s Not All Negative: Russian Media’s Flexible Coverage of Protest as a Regime Survival Strategy, No. 449. PONARS Eurasia, Washington, DC, USA.
Pundits continue to debate whether economic shocks, public discontent at home, and isolation abroad will shake President Vladimir Putin’s regime. Much of the commentary on Putin’s survival strategies has focused on repression and aggressive military posturing. This somewhat obscures another important strategy: being highly sensitive to the public mood, deftly reacting to public sentiment, and effecting rapid policy shifts to moderate public dissent.