Environmental protests and elections in Russia

Yesterday Elena Gorbacheva presented her article in progress at the research seminar at the Alekanteri Institute. Jussi Lassila from the Finnish Institute of international Affairs served as the discussant. In her paper, Elena discussed the impact of environmental protests on the support of the regional heads in Russia.

Since 2017, several waves of garbage protests have been rising in Russia, with some of the anti-landfill campaigns lasting for several yearsю In some of the cases, like Shiyes in Arkhangelsk region, the population mobilised against the construction of the landfill for Moscow waste, while in others the protests started against a local project. In this article, I am examining the political consequences of environmental protests in Russia by studying the protests in two regions with varying degrees of mobilisation on the eve of subnational elections of September 2020 and the role of anti-Moscow sentiment in the mobilisation. The protests in Arkhangelsk (against Shiyes and Katunino landfills and new incinerators) and Kaluga (against Mikhali and Timashovo landfills) regions are compared in scope, agenda, success, and their impact on the regional head election.

During the seminar, the preliminary findings were presented and discussed. The work on the article will continue during the next year too.

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