The Baltic Elves Taking on Pro-Russian Trolls
. . . and a 21st century cyber resistance could be incredibly expensive.
The new resistance fighter will be more urbane, and less knife-in-the-back, but his effectiveness will be the same. Russia is playing a losing game here, as the success of these resistance fighters mounts, others in other countries will join the fray. Russia's economic fortunes are waning, and it is unlikely outside of a few half hearted oil price rallies they will turn around. This will slowly, but surely sap the Russian states life blood, hard currency.
As it is, Russia has had to pull out of Syria to stem the money hemorrhage caused by its various military, and police actions. Syria was a show of power to help reinforce Russia's political will in other areas, like the Baltics. While it undoubtedly helped focus the minds of the people living in the Baltic region, it has also, in part, triggered a serious, and apparently, successful resistance.
I expect that unless the oil patch can find its feet, and somehow drive the price of oil above $80-90 bbl, that Russia will slowly weaken, and is likely to go through a cathartic change just like the Soviet Union did 1989-1991. This also was triggered by low oil prices.
As Russia weakens, these resistance movements will see more success, and are likely to grow and spread, lather, rinse, repeat. I also expect these resistance movements to become more offensive, picking up steam in places like Eastern Ukraine, and Eastern Georgia, perhaps even Russia itself. This will place even more pressure on Russia, and likely cause a more rapid depletion of the Russian treasury.
Putin is a capable chess player against the likes of Obama, Merkel, and company, but this is different. One man or a small clique attempting to control hundreds of thousands or millions of people is a much more difficult proposition. More commonly the large group are sufficient creative, and quick to at least create a winning stalemate. In the US, the War on Drugs shows this. The drug cartels are obviously winning, they make billions, and lose little, while the US government expends much and wins seldom. The few against the many is a war of attrition, not commonly winnable by the powerful few.
It is good to see that not all of Europe spends it time indolently seeking appeasement.