In the run-up to the State Duma elections in September, Vladimir Putin’s regime is facing an unprecedented set of domestic challenges. The electoral cycle arrives at the time of growing dissatisfaction due to an economic decline and the poor handling of Russia’s response to the Covid pandemic.
This winter and spring saw protests erupt around the country in support of the jailed opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, with thousands gathering despite bans on rallies. Polls suggest the current regime is losing its legitimacy with support for the United Russia party dropping to an eight-year low earlier this year.
Young people are becoming more politically active. After 21 years of Putin’s rule, regime fatigue is settling in – particularly in the younger generations who have known no other leader. According to a poll by the Levada Centre, 41 per cent of Russians don’t want Putin to remain in power after his term ends in 2024.
Putin’s problem children
Russia’s leader faces a backlash from the generation that has lost out under his rule, writes Natia Seskuria