Will September 8 be the next December 4?
In just over a month, eight Russian regions will elect governors, 16 will elect legislatures, eight cities will elect mayors, and five will elect city councils.
It promises to be the most consequential election day since the State Duma poll on December 4, 2011 -- which led to the largest antigovernment protests of Vladimir Putin's rule. And given how restive the public is, many observers are expecting it to be the most competitive election -- and the most explosive to falsify -- in a long time.
And, with the ongoing schism in the elite and economic storm clouds on the horizon, some Kremlin watchers say it could be coming in the midst of a "perfect storm,
" which could shift the political landscape.
In the latest edition of "The Power Vertical Podcast," we discuss the upcoming elections in the context of Russia's ongoing political turbulence. Joining me is co-host Kirill Kobrin
of RFE/RL's Russian Service, Sean Guillory
of the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Russian and Eastern European Studies, and Kevin Rothrock
, project editor for RuNet Echo
at Global Voices.
Also on the podcast, Kirill, Sean, Kevin, and I discussed rising ethnic tensions in the wake of a series of incidents in Moscow and elsewhere.
Listen to or download the podcast above or subscribe to "The Power Vertical Podcast"