Russia on the Ground – March, 2016

Patriarch Kirill leads an Orthodox Easter celebration. The Russian Orthodox Church has been rapidly growing in political and social influence in Russia.

Russia on the Ground
March, 2016

This resource serves to track domestic news inside Russia – focusing primarily on demographics, public opinion, economy, and major domestic political events inside Russia.

It is intended to give students who are otherwise following major issues and events within Russia greater context from which to view those issues and events. This resource lists useful but often under-reported information that can help build a pragmatic and objective view of Russia’s domestic situation.


Russia Has Demographic Problems; They’re Not Worse Than Italy’s
The damage from the 1990′s collapse is real and will prove lasting. But over both the long and short terms Russia’s fertility rate has been noticeably higher than Italy’s.

RASP-BluePublic Opinion

More Than Half of Russians Would Vote to Preserve USSR
Also, many respondents (40%) were hesitant to answer the question of who was to blame for the demise of the USSR.

Fewer Russian Think Political Opposition Exists in Russia
Even fewer Russians think that it should… This according to a new poll by the Levada Center.

Most Russians Not Ready to Join Protests
The share of Russians who deem economic protests to be possible has grown by a third, from 18 percent in October to 24 percent now.

Putin’s Syria Campaign is Win-Win for Most Russians
Nearly 60 percent of Russians support air strikes in Syria, a recent poll found, as a week-old ceasefire holds steady.

Majority of Russians Would Support Putin Re-election
The number of Putin supporters has risen to 65% this year, over 57% last year.

Domestic Politics

OpenDemocracy: Putin is not Russia
Editorial: “Mainstream media in the west and Russia is fixated on the Russian president. Here’s why we’re not.”

Putin Nominates Kadyrov to Remain Chechen Leader
Kadryov had previously said he planned to step down, but most analysts saw this as a ploy to force the Kremlin to back him publicly, after a year in which he has faced criticism from many quarters.

Human Rights Worker Heads Russian Election Commission
She replaces a man widely derided for his outspoken loyalty to Putin and reputation as a “Magician” for recording voting results that differed widely from what independent observers documented.

What Moscow’s Top Liberal Radio Chief Thinks of Putin’s Russia
Alexei Venediktov, the editor-in-chief of radio station Echo of Moscow, discusses multiple issues in Russia today.

Internship in RussiaEconomy

Russia’s Rosneft Shows Growing Profits
Rosneft and other Russian oil producers consequently have plenty of rubles to plow into drilling, setting them apart from U.S. and European companies which have cut back heavily on capital spending to save money.

Russian 2015 Official Economic Data Released
The state of the Russian economy continued to deteriorate in 2015, although the change in key economic indicators was not as dramatic year-on-year.

Russian Entrepreneurs Set Sights Closer to Home
Some regional startups are avoiding Silicon Valley and Moscow, as they take advantage of lower labor costs and a push for made-in-Russia products.

Where Does the Russian Orthodox Church Get Its Money from?
The Russian Orthodox Church is not only a religious organization, but also a large corporation that does business.

About the Author

Josh Wilson
Josh Wilson is the Assistant Director for The School of Russian and Asian Studies (SRAS) and Communications Director for Alinga Consulting Group. In those capacities, he has been managing publications and informative websites covering geopolitics, history, business, economy, and politics in Eurasia since 2003. He is based in Moscow, Russia. For SRAS, he also assists in program development and leads the Home and Abroad Programs.