R.Politik CEO and founder, Tatiana Stanovaya, is regularly quoted by major Russian and international media outlets. She is available for commentary in Russian and English.

Comment for NYT

As the protests swell in the city of Khabarovsk, 4,000 miles from Moscow, residents who had never before found a public outlet for anger are becoming activists.

By July 28, 2020

“For now, society doesn’t appear to be so radicalized as to storm the gates, if you will,” said Tatiana Stanovaya, a nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Moscow Center, a research organization focused on politics and policy. “But from my point of view, that is only a question of time if the authorities are not able to see what is really happening in the country.”

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Comment for AFP

Tens of thousands rally in Belarus despite pre-election crackdown

Tatiana Kalinovskay
AFP

Some analysts suggested the arrest of the Russians gave Lukashenko an excuse to crack down harder on the opposition while others said Moscow might indeed be considering some action.

Russian political analyst Tatyana Stanovaya said the Kremlin had not apparently given up on its unification plans.

Stanovaya quipped that the Russian fighters might have arrived in Minsk to “monitor” the election.

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Comment for The Financial Times

Kremlin accused of losing its touch as protests put Putin on back foot

Rallies over regional governor’s arrest leave Moscow looking unusually indecisive, say analysts

Henry Foy in Moscow JULY 29 2020

“The Kremlin has forgotten how to politically respond to issues like this. They are losing their ability to respond to societal discontent,” said Tatiana Stanovaya, founder of political analysis firm R. Politik. Under Mr Putin, the government has sought to maintain a strong grip on regional administrations. Fifty-nine of Russia’s 85 local governors are from United Russia and only a handful of the remainder are true independents elected with genuine local support.
Analysts said that the local nature of the demonstrators’ demands meant the movement was more galvanised and determined than previous national protest campaigns against issues such as government corruption, and bore similarities to protests in Moscow last summer against the arrest of a journalist, who was later released. “Society is beginning to impose itself on the Kremlin,” said Ms Stanovaya, “rather than it being the other way around all the time”.

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R.Politik’s Telegram post is mentioned in the Financial Times

Lukashenko rhetoric shows fallout between Minsk and Moscow

Arrest of 33 Russians comes as Belarusian president’s strategy of playing Russia and the west off each other founders
Rumours have circled in Russia for years that Mr Putin may have grander designs on Belarus. Tatiana Stanovaya, founder of political consulting firm R. Politik, claimed last week that Russia’s security council chief and the owner of Wagner, the Kremlin’s main mercenary group, were exploring “Belarus and Russia becoming a union with one currency, administered from Moscow” or even “completely integrating Belarus into Russia’s territory” as a province.
Comment for Newsweek

Can a Housewife Stop Putin from Getting What He Wants in Belarus?

Tatiana Stanovaya, head of R.Politik and nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Moscow Center, said that Putin’s plan is to integrate Belarus into Russia and that the mercenaries may have been in Belarus, not necessarily with the Kremlin’s knowledge, to scope out the lay of the land.

The move for integration is one that Lukashenko has resisted. The former Russian ambassador to Minsk, Mikhail Babich, spoke of greater integration when he started the post in 2018. He has since been dismissed by the Kremlin after he annoyed the Belarusian president by meeting with representatives of the opposition.

“The problem is that Putin is afraid that Lukashenko might not be strong enough to manage the situation in case there is a color revolution, So he is saying, ‘We are here to help,'” Stanovaya told Newsweek. “Lukashenko was not very happy with this help and he thinks he can manage. He doesn’t want Russia to get involved like this. He has shown that Russia must stay at a distance, that he can manage himself.”

“There are some risks we will see some mass protests in Minsk and in this case, Russia will have to get involved, but not military involvement,” Stanovaya said. “They are afraid this Western part of society—as they see it—may steal Belarus from Russia. Putin is worried that now we have a rather a short amount of time to secure Belarus as a zone of Russian influence,” she said, adding that Putin is thinking, “If not now, we may lose Belarus forever.” “I am afraid there are some forces in the Russian elite who might propose to Putin to get involved more closely,” she added.

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Commentary for Le Temps

Le Kremlin enlève les gants face à l’opposition

A peine passé le vote cimentant le pouvoir de Vladimir Poutine jusqu’en 2036, une série d’arrestations signale un brutal serrage de vis

La série d’arrestations et de poursuites judiciaires suggèrent qu’une sombre période s’ouvre devant nous”, prédit la politiste Tatiana Stanovaya, dans le dernier bulletin de R.Politik’. “Les siloviki [structures de sécurité] ciblent indistinctement tous les opposants au régime. Les autorités sont devenues beaucoup plus sensibles aux critiques, ce qui décuple leur attention pour les médias, les réseaux sociaux et ls journalistes. Avant le vote les autorités avançaient avec tact, veillant à ne pas provoquer de scandales, ce n’est plus le cas. Avec le «triomphe» [de la votation], la véritable opposition et les critiques du régime sont considérés comme un ennemi vaincu.

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Commentary for The Wall Street Journal

Spate of Raids, Arrests in Russia Spurs Fears of Opposition Crackdown

Since President Putin won a plebiscite that could prolong his power for years to come, journalists have been detained, the homes of critics raided and a popular governor has been arrested

Tatiana Stanovaya, founder of R.Politik, an independent political analysis firm, said authorities had been reluctant to take any repressive or retaliatory action while Russians were still enduring lockdown measures, or during preparations for the referendum.

“But after the vote, the regime has become less cautious,” Ms. Stanovaya said. “There is a common sentiment among senior officials that it’s a victory. You feel like you’ve just crushed your enemies and your enemies are weak and vulnerable. The authorities decided that now the vote has passed, they have a free hand. They will try to tighten the screws.”

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Georgetown Public Policy Review (GPPReview) uses R.Politik’s Special Edition Bulletin no. 2 in their piece on Putin’s constitutional reforms.

To combat criticism of the reforms, Putin attempted to create an impression that his constitutional reform will also increase the role of Parliament. However, Tatiana Stanovaya, founder and head of the Russian think tank R.Politik, claims that the Parliament will not have a bigger role in policymaking. Instead, the reforms will cause only minor changes in the procedure for appointing prime ministers. Under the current Constitution, the State Duma – the lower chamber of the parliament – has the power to approve both the prime minister and executive cabinet members proposed by the president. If the president’s candidate is rejected three times, the entire State Duma is dismissed and there is a new election. In other words, members of the lower chamber are faced with two options: vote for the appointment or be removed from the parliament. Furthermore, the majority of the seats within the State Duma are members of the United Russia party, which is loyal to Putin. Thus, opposition to the president’s appointment seems unlikely. The reforms will only change the semantics of the appointing procedure from “approve” to “confirm,” – the procedure will not change.

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Commentary for The Financial Times

Putin aims for patriotic boost from victory parades

President to proceed with celebrations the day before Russia votes on extending his rule

Having veterans present is so important to Mr Putin that the Kremlin is housing 80 of them in isolation in sanatoriums and guest houses for two weeks so that they can attend the parade alongside him. Several of the cities that cancelled their parades, however, said they were concerned about the health of their vulnerable elderly veterans. “They want it to look good on TV, and when you have coronavirus and the hospitals are overflowing it doesn’t look so good,” said Tatyana Stanovaya, founder of political consultancy R. Politik.
Ms Stanovaya said: “The parade is something sacred for him. It’s his spiritual bonds, it’s what he thinks allows him to strengthen the state and society. He feels he owes it to the veterans.”
Commentary for the Guardian

‘It looks like a gameshow’: Russia’s pseudo-vote on Putin’s term limits

Get-out-the-vote effort includes prize giveaways while campaign avoids focus on president

Andrew Roth in Moscow
Fri 26 Jun 2020 11.46 BST

“The situation looks volatile, people are in a tough situation. Many have lost their jobs and more could lose them in the future,” said Tatiana Stanovaya, the head of the R.Politik analysis firm. “They [the government] want to hold this vote quickly and close the topic. The longer they waited, the harder it would be to mobilise the public and get the right result.”

“Putin believes he has the public’s support, that they believe in him and his reforms, and for him this [vote] is just a formality,” said Stanovaya, noting that he appeared far more invested in holding the country’s rescheduled Victory Day parade than in the vote.

The vote was targeted at stabilising elite circles, argued Stanovaya. “He needs a reference that he can show his elites and say: ‘I have public support to rule for as long as I believe I need to. No one of you has the right to discuss successors.”

There remains debate over whether Putin will actually return for terms five and six or simply wants to avoid becoming a lame duck. As he himself argued during a TV interview last week, his potential return will put to bed discussions of a possible successor for the coming four years. Or 10. Or 16.

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