Laura Starink looks back on the past two years, in which the Kremlin also turned the screws domestically: the constitution was amended so that Vladimir Putin – now in power for 20 (!) years – can remain president until 2036. And Starink looks ahead: Where does he want to go with Russia? What role will it play in neighboring countries such as Belarus? Is there still any form of opposition possible in Russia? Will the internal repression continue? And how is Russia doing after Covid-19?
Laura Starink is Slavic and Russia expert, journalist and co-founder of ‘Raam op Rusland’ (Window to Russia) – the knowledge platform about society, culture and history of Russia and the former Soviet republics. Raam op Russia is a partner of Leiden University and think tank Clingendael. Starink worked for almost thirty years as a journalist, editor and member of the editorial board of Dutch quality newspaper NRC Handelsblad. In the Gorbachev years she was a correspondent in Moscow. In 1989 she received the Anne Vondeling Prize for political journalism for her correspondent position. She has written 4 books about Russia (Een land van horen zeggen, De Russische kater, De Schaduw van de grote broer en Post uit Rusland – A Land of Hearsay, The Russian Hangover, The Big Brother’s Shadow and Mail from Russia). She also successfully published a war history of her German mother: Duitse Wortels (German Roots).