Russia transformed from an authoritarian system into a dictatorship following constitutional changes in 2020 that allowed Vladimir Putin to remain in power until 2036, but de facto made Putin president for life. Since then, collective leadership has been replaced with rule by a dictator of a kind last seen in Joseph Stalin’s USSR. The emergence of a dictatorship has led to a totalitarian regime in Russia. Since 2020, all independent political thought and media have been closed and protests ruthlessly crushed. Putin’s speeches both before and since the invasion of Ukraine, with the search for domestic and external traitors, are a throwback to the Stalin era. Domestic traitors in the Soviet Union include anybody critical of the authorities, while external traitors are Ukrainians who refuse to accept they are a Little Russian branch of the pan-Russian nation and the West that maintains a “puppet” regime in Ukraine. The Russian state is mobilizing society through the promotion of a cult of war.
The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to invite you to a panel discussion where two Russian and two Western experts will discuss the type of regime that has emerged in Putin’s Russia, what implications this has for the war in Ukraine and relations with the West and the policies that should be undertaken in response.