Contemporary Russia: Authoritarian or Totalitarian?
We can better understand Russia according to categorical grids that cannot be applied to Western systems – for example, the modified conception of authoritarianism and totalitarianism created by Juan Linz. Russia’s political system is dominated by power structures (“silovki”) with unclear elements of party-state apparatus, which appeared after February 2014. This has created a completely set totalitarian political gnosis, but fundamentalist thinking has dominated. Mass social apathy co-exists with attempts at subordinating mass mobilization and the effective deprivation of the non-system opposition’s ability to organise social protests. The evolution of Russia’s political system was never so rapid: hard military authoritarianism was supplemented by lesser or greater marginal elements of totalitarianism.