Cover Osteuropa 6-8/2012

In Osteuropa 6-8/2012

Double Polarisation
Russia’s Divided Society

Marija Lipman

Deutsche Fassung


The protests that erupted after the rigged Duma election in December 2011 mark a break between the regime and a relevant part of the population. In Russia’s cities, a stratum of independent-minded citizens demanding a say in politics has developed. In doing so, it has run up against resistance from the ruling elite. At the same time, this modern citizenry has become increasingly alienated from the conservative strata in the small towns and rural areas shaped by the Soviet era. These strata are the power base of the authoritarian Putin system. Russia’s development and its prospects for modernisation will remain dominated by the relationship between these two communities.

(Osteuropa 6-8/2012, pp. 9–22)