This is no doubt the preferable development in view of the alternatives – stagnation or civil war. In this case, as predicted by numerous commentators on left and right, and also by certain individuals, who change their spots in line with the current mood, aka former RAO UES head and current Rusnano head Anatoly Chubais, the lull in existing protest marches will be replaced by a renewal of peaceful protest first seen following the plainly fabricated parliamentary results in late 2011.
Notwithstanding the current crackdowns on protest through new legislation and on expression of alternative views through legislation allegedly implemented to combat treason and child pornography, but highly cynical, given that Orthodox monasteries are in the habit of harbouring brothels in Moscow these days, it is indeed possible that large-scale protests will keep happening. Indeed, the more the Kremlin cracks down on the opposition, the more people will come out on the streets. I find it hard to believe that Russian soldiers would shoot on their own people, so the current regime is more likely to fall like a pack of cards.
If a repeat of 1991 is possible, then hopefully there will be a transfer of power without the loss of too many lives. The question is who will emerge in charge? It is highly unlikely that Navalny, Nemtsov or Udaltsov will garner the support of the majority of the decision-makers to take over, so they can be ruled out for the time being. They would be more likely to come to the fore in the event of a more bloody scenario.
This leaves us with people that are trying to maintain in the electorate’s eyes some distance from the powers that be, in other words billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov and the reformer of the electricity sector, Anatoly Chubais. They would be able to cajole and persuade the powers that be that they need to stand aside, in some cases emigrate (i.e., President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, as their actual role in the plight of the Russian nation and the level of their personal corruption would make their continuing presence in Russia a destabilising force. It would be good to see them exiled to North Korea for their sins, but that appears unlikely. It is more probable that some accommodating European country would take them in).
It is another question whether the general public would allow them to stay in charge for too long, as they would represent a quasi democracy. However, they might prove useful as transitional characters, as other more worthy candidates emerge.