With protests quashed, censorship increased and various Russian media and research organisations closed in the wake of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Russian authoritarianism has reached a post-Cold War high. The notion of a hybrid regime – involving some form of managed democracy – appears to have given way to full-blown repression. Moreover, the regime appears to have managed to rally support for the war effort despite (or perhaps because of) the massive sanctions imposed on the Russian economy, signalling a likely prolonged confrontation between Russia and the West.
How sustainable is Russia’s new political course? What does it imply for the future of Russian nationalism and foreign policy? And how should the EU deal with a full-blown authoritarian state on its borders which, unlike smaller powers such as Belarus or middle powers like Turkey, retains a massive stake in Europe’s security system?