Recent Russian elections show rifts in Putin's political foundations. Incumbent President Vladamir Putin's party, United Russia, is set to occupy 26 out of 45 seats on the Moscow City Council, down from 28. The Communist Party is set to assume 13 of those seats. Other local election results show a similar or larger decrease in United Russia's power.
However significant these local losses may seem, United Russia still retains significant power. Local elections may portend a larger movement, but Putin will not cede national seats easily. Of note, the strategy that United Russia's opposition used was to vote for someone that was anti-United Russia, rather than for another individual party. Therefore, even if United Russia were to be voted out of power, these other parties might not be able to form a majority coalition, leaving United Russia in control. Finally, this possible change in leadership may affect international relations. Since Russia's authoritarian ideology conflicts with that of many western nations, historical tensions are unlikely to deescalate between Russia, Europe, and North America. After United Russia, the leading political group is the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. This party is still vastly unpopular with the rest of the world and even inside Russia, as they wish to impose a quasi-Stalin government. As of right now, many Russians view a government without Putin at the wheel better than one with him.