Russian children are initiated into the Communist Party's Young Pioneer group. The Party's efforts to rebrand itself include attracting more young Russians to join its youth organizations.
(KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)
The cracks are beginning to show in the system that has supported Russian President Vladimir Putin's government for 17 years. Demographic shifts, economic stagnation and building pressure from the West have strained the administration and fueled dissatisfaction among the Russian public. And for Russia's opposition groups, the growing discontent -- and the recent rise of various protest movements across the country -- present an opportunity. Russia's most prominent opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, has led the charge, launching an anti-corruption campaign aimed squarely at the government elite. Navalny has opened 60 regional offices throughout Russia and plans to run for president against Putin in 2018.
Though it probably won't allow Navalny's bid for office, the Kremlin may have other challengers to worry about. The Communist Party -- a political opponent that operates within the government's system -- is starting to make its own plans for the future. The Russian public has long...