The murder of prominent opposition liberal politician Boris Nemtsov in the center of Moscow was, in many ways, the ultimate black swan event for Russia’s political scene, introducing new uncertainty both for the Kremlin and its opposition in how to approach issues related to both foreign and domestic policy.

What follows below is a sizing up of current political sentiment in Russia and a detailed analysis of the state of both the “systemic” and “anti-systemic” opposition in Russia. Based on this analysis, it appears that the Kremlin has done a remarkable job of neutralizing dissent with Russian political society — either by co-opting the political platforms and ideas of its rivals, or by taking steps to keep the “anti-systemic” opposition off-guard.

As a result, figures such as Alexei Navalny or Mikhail Prokhorov, both of whom may be recognizable in Western political circles, have little or no ability to influence current political outcomes within Russia. Instead, figures from political parties (and splinter groups of those parties) that express solidarity with the Kremlin’s stance on Ukraine and the economy may hold greater sway but at the cost of their political prospects in the future. This Brief wraps up with a look ahead to the Russian Duma elections of 2016, handicapping the chances of the various opposition parties to make inroads with Russia’s electorate.

Does the general public think that Russia is going in the right direction? What happened to Alexey Navalny? Why has the famous billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov left his political party? Subscribe and download the full version of the report to find out

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