When Russians vote in parliamentary elections later this week, the results are expected to be a foregone conclusion. Nevertheless, opposition groups are campaigning across the country despite the Kremlin’s unprecedented crackdown on civil society, independent media and free speech, including the imprisonment of the opposition leader Alexei Navalny. His former chief of staff Leonid Volkov—one of the architects of Navalny’s “smart voting” strategy—joins Gregory and Jonathan to explain what’s at stake for the country and the future of President Vladimir Putin’s regime.


The Cable is a production of ICWA and the Transatlantic Democracy Working Group.

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Politician, Russia’s Future Party

Former campaign manager and chief of staff for Alexei Navalny




Executive Director, Institute of Current World Affairs

Journalist, author of Russians: The People Behind the Power


Senior Fellow and Director of Democracy Initiatives, The German Marshall Fund of the United States

Former Deputy Assistant Administrator, Europe and Eurasia Bureau, US Agency for International Development


The Cable is produced by Glenn Kates.



Top photo: Alexey Navalny and Leonid Volkov (Putnik, Wikimedia Commons)