Russia and the colour revolutions

Evgeny Finkel, Yitzhak M. Brudny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

The colour revolutions, and especially the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, are widely perceived as major international setbacks to Putin's Russia. The Ukrainian events alarmed Russian elites, who feared the possibility of a local colour revolution during the 2007-2008 electoral cycle. To thwart the perceived colour revolution threat, Russian authorities adopted strategies that combined a political, administrative and intellectual assault on the opposition and Western ideas of democracy promotion. An integral part of this assault was, first, an attempt to create a mass youth movement, Nashi, as a counterweight to the various youth movements that were the driving forces behind the colour revolutions in Serbia, Georgia and Ukraine. Second, it was an attempt to delegitimize the idea of liberal democracy itself, labelling it subversive and alien to the Russian national character. We argue that Russian reactions to the 'colour revolution threat' provide important insights into what an authoritarian regime, such as that in Russia, perceives as the most threatening aspects of democratizing activities by domestic and international actors.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)15-36
Number of pages22
JournalDemocratization
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2012

Keywords

  • Authoritarianism
  • Colour revolution
  • Ideology
  • Nashi
  • Russia

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