On the first anniversary of the appointment of the Putin-Medvedev diarchy, the debate is no longer focused on its stability and endurance but rather on how it will limit social and political fallout from the economic downturn. So-called “exceptionalism” has not survived the effects of the financial markets crash, highlighting on one hand the extent of Russia’s integration into the world economy, but the weakness of the Russian economic system on the other. The country’s modernization is now at risk. The rapid slow-down in recent economic growth could erode consensus around the diarchy. So far, deteriorating conditions of living do not appear to have affected the diarchy’s popular standing significantly. The government does not appear to be interested in using the crisis to strengthen its role in the economy. Increased state intervention is being mixed with market-oriented policies in some areas, as demonstrated by recent tax cuts and measures to support small businesses.