Behind the Scenes of the Russian Regime


Christophe Meneboeuf - http://ww

Political instability is not a new dilemma in Russian Society. With Russian-Ukrainian tensions rising, its important to understand the geo-political complexities.

Russian politics aren’t something that typical high school students will learn about. The divide between a communist system and a Democratic-leaning system has enveloped Russia in a conflict that is important for the entire world.

In Orono High School, it is very uncommon to hear Russia talked about, whether in class or in conversation. Junior Mason Krasnoff said he didn’t know anything about the political situation in Russia.

Russian politics are foreign, to begin with, but there is a lack of awareness of the politics in Russia that is very prevalent in high schools across America. Currently, in the United States, Russia is a cause for concern because of how little we know about Russia and how much government censorship there is. The Kremlin created media regulations and an anti-Western campaign in 2014 after a conflict with Ukraine.

“I would not consider myself knowledgeable about Russian politics, and that I don’t think other high school students know very much about Russia either,” junior Olivia Tate, an AP Human Geography student said.

The United States has a tense history with Russia, dating back to the Russian Revolution through the Cold War and the space race. In more recent years, the United States, among other countries, has suspended some economic relations with Russia and imposed resource sanctions such as raising oil prices to push for a more democratic and less totalitarian system.

“The United States should be careful who it chooses to associate itself with, especially Russia,” junior Abby Rich said.

Because Russia has refused to change its political system, it has to endure economic prohibitions, which have thrust the country into a recession.

Opposition to the oppressive Russian government led by Vladimir Putin has regained momentum recently, with many Russians backing a new, more democratic candidate: Alexei Navalny. In recent times, Alexei Navalny has been gaining more popularity because of Russia’s poor response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has also led to a further economic standstill in Russia. In 2014, the Kremlin allowed a poll for Navalny’s popularity. Navalny captured 27% of support from Russians polled, according to the Associated Press. Because of this, the Kremlin has been arresting Navalny on supposed charges of embezzlement.

“I have never heard of Alexei Navalny,” junior Mackenzie Callan said.

Current President Vladimir Putin has a history of oppressing people through Russia’s controlled media. Alexei Navalny once jumped on the opportunity to show Russian citizens that Putin had obtained funds through fraud to build himself a palatial mansion. The video posted by Navalny detailing this fraud received one hundred million views but was shut down and removed from the internet soon after.

Political transitions have historically caused issues and often created tensions with other countries. Considering the already-tense state of relations between Russia and the rest of the world, people are in disagreement over whether right now is a proper time for a transition of political systems in Russia.

“A switch from a centralized government to a decentralized government could be beneficial in the long run, but would be a lot to adjust to for Russia short-term,” junior Olivia Tate said.

Russian policies are strict and harsh and many Russians will not speak out against their government, even though some may want to see a change in leadership. Unfortunately, right now may not be the best time to see another leader take over Russia.

“A switch from centralized to decentralized government would definitely take its toll on Russia because problems usually arise when power switches hands,” junior Abby Rich said.

If tensions in Russia were to escalate, some countries would possibly take sides or choose a party to support, potentially causing international instability. Times of political transition have caused many problems throughout world history and Russia has already suffered from a political transition in the Russian Revolution. The people of Russia will have to make their own decisions about their leadership.