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With its entrenched advantages, the Kremlin's United Russia party should be safe for now -- but if Vladimir Putin doesn't acknowledge the widespread dissatisfaction with his rule, he may soon find that force is the only way to preserve his regime.
An annotated Foreign Affairs syllabus on Russian politics.
In this 2008 article, Michael McFaul, now U.S. ambassador to Russia, and Kathryn Stoner-Weiss describe the damage Vladimir Putin's authoritarianism has done to Russia's political and economic systems.