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Dark Post-Putin Russia Won’t Be Democratic Yuri Kadobnov / AFP-Getty Images

Post-Putin Russia Won’t Be Democratic

With thousands on the streets of Moscow and a new billionaire challenger emerging against President Vladimir Putin, it looks like Russia's on the brink of a democratic uprising. But not so fast, says Paul Starobin at The New Republic. "Russian liberalism—which identifies itself with Western-style democracy—has a tepid mass following, its ranks consistently overestimated over the last twenty years by ever-hopeful Western governments, analysts, and journalists. And the current groundswell of protest, while promising on the surface, looks more like a popular rejection of a strongman who has overstayed his welcome—not like a rejection of the model of strongman rule."

December 12, 2011 11:59 AM