This article examines the internal and external reactions by post-Soviet autocrats to the colored revolutions. First, the colored revolutions provoked incumbents in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and other post-Soviet countries to strengthen domestic efforts to preempt opposition challenges. Preemptive measures included restrictions on independent civil society, disruptions of independent electoral monitoring, promotion of progovernment civil society groups, and assaults on opposition and democracy assistance. Such actions, together with already existing endowments, allowed these regimes to survive. Next, the colored revolutions stimulated increased coordination among nondemocratic states to squash opposition. Measures included counter-monitoring of elections to offset Western claims of fraud, and increased efforts at military and economic cooperation such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Simultaneously, Russia sought to destabilize Georgia and Ukraine through economic and, in Georgia, military pressure. This authoritarian backlash following the colored revolutions buttressed the surviving autocracies, which prospects for democratization have become even more bleak and distant.

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