On regional finances, Varangians vs locals, and others

Looking back on the past couple of weeks in Russian politics, I am going over the state of regional finances as of the end of May, pointing out why and where there are politically risky pressure points that will not be easy to handle while the government’s focus remains the war. I am also musing upon what a series of resignations of mayors across Russia may mean for the directions of the Kremlin’s domestic personnel policy. In the “also-happeneds” section I discuss some news regarding the upcoming September regional election and industrial policies.

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On the drivers of the municipal reform, what makes Putin and Orban tick, and others

Looking back on the past couple of weeks in Russian politics, I am trying to explain why the Kremlin is eager to merge municipalities, a policy executed in several regions, which may become a federal law later this year. I am also sharing some thoughts on why Orban and Putin agree on many things and why I think those looking for a hidden motivation behind their relationship are missing the point. Apart from this, I am briefly discussing personnel changes, industrial development in the Sakha Republic and the ongoing nationalization of food industry companies.

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On the government reshuffle

The first substantial changes to the composition of Russia’s broader federal government since February 2022 took place over the weekend. But how substantial were they? Here are a couple of initial thoughts on the (potentially still ongoing) changes, on Belousov, Shoigu and Patrushev.

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On dismissals and score-settling, new directions for public administration and others

On the Kremlin’s cautious personnel policy running parallel to increasingly bold score-settling enabled by the domestic political agenda, a creeping public administration reform, and more.

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On dismissals, recruitment and others

Thoughts on dismissals and arrests in the regions after the presidential election and before this year’s gubernatoropad. What do recruitment efforts by regional authorities tell us about how Russia works today? And some stories from the regions that didn’t make the cut in the past two Bear Market Briefs.

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On new normals, regional finances and others

Thoughts on number-crunching after the elections and why research into falsification is important. Why did Putin have to have 87%? Musings about regional finances in early 2024. And some stories from the regions that didn’t make the cut in Bear Market Brief.

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On online voting, the war coalition and others

What happened in Russia over the past week? A couple of words on the role of online voting, on the importance of a visibly strong pro-war coalition for Putin, and some regional political and economic news.

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