However, we should not forget that popular support for authoritarian regimes like Russia's is not diffuse, but quite specific. In other words, citizens support the regime not because they like it as such, but because for the majority it brings material dividends (or at least the hope of such dividends). Popular support for these regimes is rather like a relationship with a prostitute: she is prepared to make love as long as she is paid money, but when the client's money runs out (in this case, the money of the ruling group of the authoritarian regime), her love is no longer for sale. So, if the recession in Russia will be, as many economists predict, deep and prolonged, it will be quite difficult for the Russian regime to keep its citizens' loyalty and there will inevitably be increased demands for alternatives to the status quo.
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