Zhanna Nemtsova, daughter of murdered Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, will speak at this week’s Lennart Meri Conference in Tallinn. Talking to the Baltic News Service, Nemtsova said that Russians’ euphoria over the annexation of Crimea had subsided, and that they were turning their attention to the ailing economy and the regime’s corruption.
After the murder of her father in February 2015, Nemtsova emigrated to Germany, where she has been an editor with Deutsche Welle’s Russian office in Bonn since August of the same year.
“My feeling is that euphoria associated with the annexation of Crimea has subsided a lot, almost disappeared. People care about rising utility tariffs amid a drop of real wages,” Nemtsova told BNS.
“And we saw on March 26 that thousands took to streets across Russia against corruption. This move was inspired by the documentary On vam ne Dimon (“Don’t call him Dimon”) that unveils the multi-million-dollar assets of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev,” Nemtsova added.
“Another inspiring trend is that the younger generation has joined the protests, and they show courage and an understanding of the processes that are going on in Russia,” she said.
According to the World Bank, the Russian economy is expected to grow 1.5 percent in 2017 after several years of decline, although it will remain vulnerable to fluctuations in commodity prices.
Russia’s prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, declared in March that the decline of Russia’s economy had halted, and that the government expected 1-2 percent growth, although he also emphasized that this growth was not as “solid” as he would like.
According to Nemtsova, the right word to use here is “stabilization”, as 1-2 percent economic growth was strikingly low for a developing economy. Still, stabilization was good for the current government ahead of the 2018 presidential election.
Editor: Dario Cavegn