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Experts forecast political crisis in Russia

May 24, 2012, 13:12 UTC+3

The current situation in the power has brought the country to confrontation

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MOSCOW, May 22 (Itar-Tass World Service)

A political crisis in Russia may resound with a new wave of the economic crisis, experts of the Centre of Strategic Research say, and then, negative consequences would be quite possible. On Thursday, the Centre will publish a report Society and Power in Political Crisis, and the media learned some parts of it. The report was prepared for Alexei Kudrin’s Committee of Civil Initiatives. The Centre’s head, Mikhail Dmitriyev, is a member of the committee.  

Experts say the current situation in the power has brought the country to confrontation, and under the terms of coming second wave of the economic crisis it will cause a radical transformation of the system of power, the Komsomolskaya Pravda reports. Experts do not foresee any peaceful variants how it may be settled.

This is not a first report the Centre is presenting, the newspaper writes. In 2011, the Centre published two documents on threat of a political crisis in Russia: the slumping rating of the present power, growing protests in Moscow and other major cities. Almost all forecasted events came true. “The forecast for this year will be future-oriented for six-nine months, which is beyond late 2012, since only with this term we may be most precise. One of major methods is polls,” the newspaper quotes Mikhail Dmitriyev as saying.

The basis of the current research is the political situation in the country, the Komsomolskaya Pravda reports.

“The modern state of the Russian society and power has many features typical for a full-fledged crisis. From the side of the society, the crisis is expressed not only in expanding of the social groups supporting public protests, but rather in falling enthusiasm from political leaders and the entire ruling elite. Political requests from the people have become better prepared and pragmatic,” the document reads.

Analysts say that the state’s weak points are education, healthcare, personal security and observation of laws, as well as quality of services.

Russia is facing a full-fledged political crisis, and it is irreversible, reiterating the pre-crisis status quo is unrealistic, the Vedomosti quote the report. For the power, the crisis is in lower trust from people and in growing threat of losing political control. Though social analysts did fix restoration of Vladimir Putin’s and United Russia’s ratings after the elections, this is only a seeming impression, the Centre said. Major part of those supporting the power are loyal, as they cannot see an alternative for Putin and do persuade themselves he has more advantages than drawbacks. The society has to choose from equally unpleasant variants.

In reality, dissatisfaction with the power continues to grow, and not only in the middle class, that is lost for United Russia, but also in other social groups. Grows the demand for renovation (where the reshuffling of the president and the prime minister cannot be considered as such), grows also the archaic style the power talks to the nation. It has grown up more than Putin’s advisors think, and it does not accept populism responses, the Centre reports.

Readiness for protests is not evident – the people are against confrontation, but it is in search for new political leaders. The president opponents of the power do not satisfy fully. The Centre forecasts the new-type leaders will appear at first in the regions, during local elections, like it happened in Togliatti and Yaroslavl.

The Centre doubts a peaceful and favourable scenario and calls it “accelerated modernisation” and explains as formation of a coalition of those supporting modernisation in the power and in the opposition in rallies. The escalation of violence following the May 6 rally and a lack of agreed collective position the protesters could share are in the way of a dialogue and of bringing back the protests in peaceful mood. For similar reasons as well as because of the irreversible erosion of the support base for the central power, the Centre gives a medium probabi8lity to a scenario of Inertial Development, where protests would be fading away.

A new wave of the economic crisis may aggravate the protest activities across the country. Along with the going-on political crisis this would cause a quick loss of control from the power and to a radical transformation of the power system. The Centre forecasts the Radical Transformation scenario is highly probable. The authors of the report also forecast with high probability the fourth scenario – Political Reaction: a forced confrontation of those in rallies and the power, suspension of reforms and stronger positions of those opposing modernisation both in the streets and inside the power.

It is most likely that all the four scenarios will be implemented, the Vedomosti quote Evgeny Gontmakher of Insor and Kurdrin’s committee. at first, the inertial one, then the reaction one along with Putin’s doomed attempt to press the protesters, and then the radical one – disorganisation of management, chaos, change of the regime. And at last, a new team of power will start retarded modernisation, the expert concluded.

No matter which scenario the trust crisis will follow, ruining of the vertical structure of power is inevitable – and the replacement of the elites will start from the regions, the Vedomosti quote Mikhail Dmitriyev as saying. The big generation of baby-boomers of the 1980s will start claiming influential positions in business and in politics, new mayors and governors will be enjoying respect from the people, not sympathies to Moscow, and the growth of the middle class, which is lost irretrievably for the current power, will keep the heat of opposing, Dmitriyev said.

The power should make a decision in favour of major institutional changes, so that to provide conditions for economic and political competition, as without this the country would not be developing, Evgeny Yasin of the Higher School of Economics said.

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