Putin tightens his grip

Russia economy 3.7% ---> 3% . Conventional wisdom suggests that economic hardships trigger anti-incumbency sentiment. But in Mr. Putin’s Russia just the opposite has happened. WHY ?

  • Under his watch, Russia has come out of its self-imposed strategic retreat and started playing an active global role. Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and a combative foreign policy in Syria and elsewhere have proved popular among his domestic constituents.

  • But the Russian economy continues to be heavily dependent on energy exports. If crude oil prices remain low for long, economic pain will persist.

  • Though the muscular foreign policy is popular at home, Moscow has had to pay a heavy price for it.

  • REALITY CHECK : Mr. Putin wants to rebuild Russia as a credible global power, a persistent economic crisis and a stormy neighbourhood are not going to help.

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