Protests against President Putin have cast doubt over the long-held view that he will remain in the post for two full terms. In the first of a three-part series on Mr Putin’s return to the Kremlin and the new geopolitical landscape in Russia, we look at the new problems facing his presidency this time round.

VLADIMIR Putin has returned to the Kremlin as president, a job he never really left. During the four years with Dmitry Medvedev as caretaker president, there was much speculation concerning who was really in charge. It may be tempting to conclude that things will go back to ‘normal’. But this would be wrong.

Following the past winter of disconten...

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Professor Stefan Hedlund
The regime is acutely aware that it may have sufficient repressive resources to deal with mass disturbance in the capital, but not much beyond that
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