'The power gained, we will never surrender' Russian ruling elite versus the succession and economic crisis
Even though the economic crisis proved harmful to the Russian economy and people's living standards, it has nonetheless failed to make the elite revise its policy. Despite some problems, the government has managed to sustain economic and political stability, thanks to the reserves it amassed in the times of prosperity, and to the propaganda campaign that protected it, above all Vladimir Putin. The crisis failed to force the elite to implement deeper structural and political reforms. Moreover, it has actually reinforced existing tendencies, such as state control over the economy and its oil-oriented character, the elite's economic expansion at the expense of private businesses, and the preservation of political power. Thus, the crisis has so far failed to dismantle Putinism, indeed quite the reverse - it has in fact contributed to its becoming 'set in stone'.