Mikhail Kasyanov on the political situation in Russia
Mikhail Kasyanov, former Prime Minister of Russia and an outspoken critic of President Putin, gave a presentation on the political situation in Russia on the 16th of November at SSE.
Kasyanov was the Prime Minister of Russia from May 2000 to February 2004. Since being dismissed in 2004 by Putin, he has been an important part of the opposition. Currently, he is the leader and chairman of the political party People's Freedom Party and the leader of the movement People’s Democratic Union.
In his presentation, Kasyanov addressed how Russia has changed since his time as Prime Minister and criticized Putin’s regime for not doing well-needed reforms and for being undemocratic. In a three year period the state’s expenses for education have been reduced with 25 percent and at the same time the expenses for the military have been steadily increasing. Kasyanov described how there are no free elections and no free media – the opposition is not allowed to appear on TV for example. According to Kasyanov, more than 50 percent of the Russian population get all of their information from central television, which is one of Kasyanov’s explanations as to why the support for Putin is so big.
Kasyanov also addressed different scenarios that might happen in the next few years. He ended his presentation by emphasising the importance of remembering that Putin and Russia are two separate things, and that it is important therefore to have different strategies when working with Russia in order to see changes in the future.
After the event,Kasyanov was interviewed by Dagens Nyheter, read the article here (in Swedish).