The Russian opposition is increasingly in the spotlight after the December mass protests. The scale of the demonstrations was such that they received high resonance in the media. Even State-controlled news outlets, which usually omit coverage of political dissent, thoroughly reported on the opposition’s rallies and slogans. This movement has significant implications for the next presidential elections, strengthening the idea in society of unfair elections as well as casting doubts on the Duma’s legitimacy. Many challenges still lie ahead arising from both external and internal constraints to the movement itself.
On the one hand the opposition encounters serious institutional constraints to the participation in the political arena; on the other it suffers from profound divisions and divergent positions concerning strategic issues. Thus it risks to become even more detached from the population. On the eve of the presidential elections the incumbents are responding with a pretty effective strategy of containment of dissent centered on the mobilisation of pro-Kremlin supporters in mass counter-protests.