Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Putin's Core Support Begins to Waver

Working-class Russians hurt by recession look for someone to blame—in an election year.
Bloomberg business news

Putin in Two Minutes: A Quick Look Into His Soul

Russia embarks on an almost two-year-long election season this summer that ends with a presidential contest in 2018. But unlike previous years, the country's faltering economy has taken its toll on lower-income voters who blame the Duma and the cabinet for their plight. 

Five years ago, allegations of vote rigging led to the biggest antigovernment protests since Vladimir Putin’s ascent—dozens of opposition activists and leaders were jailed. The current election cycle comes amid an economic crisis caused in large part by earlier declines in oil prices, Russia's key export. The recession has left many employers cash-strapped, sending workers into the streets to protest unpaid wages and reduced working hours. The Center for Economic & Political Reforms, a think-tank close to the Russian Communist Party, reports an almost twofold increase in protests in March compared with previous months, a steep rise since last year.