Talking before a select audience of experts, our guest departed from briefly characterizing the Duma elections as grossly falsified, a job which was facilitated by the use of e-voting. The Kremlin, he reasoned, was guided by the fear of the Communists, who were harnessed by Navalny sympathizers in their „smart voting“ campaign. The crackdown on the opposition, however, created a new systemic problem; namely the lack of legitimacy.
Pavlovskiy sees the main problem of the transition and the Putin system as such in the fact that institutions and rules have gradually ceased to function and are replaced by ad-hoc improvised schemes. There are no workable control mechanisms, checks or balances, which creates a pervasive climate of insecurity.
Among other things, this state of affairs could have grave consequences, in that war is a realistic possibility, as the recent dislocation of Russian troops along the Ukrainian border has illustrated. It is not the aggressiveness or the militancy of Russian leaders, but the logic of the system, which makes it stumble into disaster.