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Aram Terzyan


This paper explores Russia’s response to Covid-19, with a focus on its implications for political freedoms and human rights across the country. It investigates the relationship between the pandemic and reinforcing authoritarianism in Russia. This paper is an in-depth case analysis that uses policy analysis and process tracing to examine Russia’s response to Covid-19 and its effects on Russian domestic politics. The study concludes that the Russian authorities have considerably abused Covid-19-related restrictive measures, not least through curtailing the freedom of assembly and expression. In doing so the Russian authorities have conveniently shielded themselves from mass protests amid constitutional amendments and upcoming legislative elections. Nevertheless, while the authoritarian practices that the Kremlin resorted to during the pandemic are not much different from those of other authoritarian regimes, they proved insufficient in curbing anti-regime dissent. This study inquires into the political repercussions of crisis management in authoritarian regimes and concludes that their authoritarian reactions lead to further crackdowns on civil liberties and political freedoms.   


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How to Cite
Terzyan, A. . (2021). RUSSIA AND COVID-19: RUSSIAN ADAPTIVE AUTHORITARIANISM DURING THE PANDEMIC. Journal of Liberty and International Affairs, 7(3), 345-355.
Author Biography

Aram Terzyan, Center for East European and Russian Studies, Eurasia Institutes - California, USA

I am a political scientist and I received my Ph.D. in Political Science from National Defense Research University and Yerevan State University in 2014. My areas of specialization include Russian and Post-Soviet politics, foreign policy analysis, and human rights. I was a Senior Lecturer of Political Science at Yerevan State University from 2014 to 2018. I have held research positions at New Europe College (Bucharest, Romania), Charles University (Prague, Czech Republic), Ghent University (Ghent, Belgium), as well as at Malmo University (Malmo, Sweden). Currently, I am research director of a Los Angeles -based Center for East European and Russian Studies of the Eurasia Institutes. Besides, I am affiliated with Eurasian Research and Analysis Institute, as well as with the UNESCO Chair of Human Rights, Democracy and European Studies at Brusov State University of Languages and Social Sciences. I have taught the following courses: Theory of International Relations, Energy Geopolitics, International Conflicts, Political Psychology, as well as Elections and Electoral Systems. I have over thirty peer-reviewed publications, along with conference and workshop papers. I have appeared on national TV news and analytical programs. I am a member of the American Political Science Association; the Armenian Political Science Association, the Swedish Institute Network for Future Global Leaders, as well an editorial board member of the Armenian Journal of Political Science. I have served as a reviewer for Third World Quarterly, Journal of Contemporary European Studies, Democratization, etc.