Institute of Social Sciences of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)
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Between expectations of an immediate catastrophe and “nothing will ever change” predictions, it is difficult to keep track of what’s going on inside a regime that is neither going to fall apart tomorrow, nor defeat America in a new war or reconstruct the Soviet Union. How to separate rhetoric from reality, fakes from facts and incidents from events? An additional obstacle to rational analysis is the fog of post-modern propaganda, of both intentional deceit and self-deceit, bombast, hubris and make-believe, that is partly the product of various “troll-factories”, partly genuine self-delusion. However, a more realistic outlook can be achieved by focusing on interests rather than personalities, tendencies rather than news, and comparing the modern Russian political system with similar regimes around the world.