Reform or Stagnation in Medvedev's Russia?
The speaker will argue that modernisation has been one of the leitmotifs of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's public statements, yet there is little sign that the rhetoric of reform is being transferred into deeds. Indeed, Medvedev's predecessor Vladimir Putin also spoke in his time of the dangers of corruption and legal nihilism, before creating the political environment in which they have come to flourish. Is there any substance to Medvedev's declared agenda, or is it merely a smokescreen for inter-elite conflict within the existing political system? What role does the opposition have to play within a closed political system, where access to the mass media is limited and the elite unwilling to countenance any form of competition?
Vladimir Ryzhkov served as a Deputy of the Russian Duma from 1993 to 2007. He is a professor at the Higher School of Economics, a political analyst for the newspaper Novaya Gazeta and the Moscow Times and a presenter on Ekho Moskvy. He is also the chairman of the civic organisation 'Vybor Rossii' (Russia's Choice). Since 2006 Ryzhkov has been affiliated with the opposition group 'Drugaya Rossiya' (The Other Russia).
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