In spring semester 2023, the New School of Political Science is opening an English-language class Russian Politics which will explore how Russia’s ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine became possible and how Russia’s present-day authoritarian regime emerged out of the chaos of the 1990s. We will study the Soviet legacies and their role in post-Soviet politics, trace the unlucky path of political modernization and try to answer the main question: What went wrong in the attempts to build a stable democratic polity in Russia? The class will focus on Russia’s constitutional design (the presidency, the parliament – Duma, the constitutional court, federalism and municipal self-government), the problems and limitations of Russia’s civil society, the role of protests and the opposition, the ideology of the Kremlin and possible scenarios for the future. This is a unique opportunity to hear a real voice from Russia.