Defying Putin: Leaders of the Opposition Movement Against Russian Authoritarianism

Megan Tingley


Since being named acting president of Russia in 1999, Vladimir Putin has gone from a little-known ex-KGB agent to one of the most powerful men in the world. Handpicked by his ailing predecessor, Boris Yeltsin, Putin came to power following a decade of economic turmoil and political instability. His decisiveness, especially in regard to civic uprisings in Chechnya, garnered early support among the Russian people. In fact, Putin’s approval ratings remained high even as his actions became increasingly authoritarian. Given Russia’s position of power and its recent invasion of Crimea, there is reasonable concern among the international community over Putin’s ongoing obstructions to democracy both within and outside the country’s borders. Over the past few years, however, opposition groups have emerged with hopes of limiting Putin’s power. While widespread reform has yet to occur, movements to mobilize the Russian public are beginning to take place. 

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