Not Such a Great Power: Forces Driving Change in the Russian Political System

Russian Analytical Digest, No 309, 31.01.2024, pp. 36-38

The war has marginalized Russia in world politics, revealed the domestic and international overestimation of Russia’s military power, and cut domestic standards of living. Accepting the loss of Russia’s previous imperial status could enable Russian society to see the country’s future in more realistic terms. War in Ukraine, President Putin’s leadership, the government’s highly qualified economists, the Kremlin’s management of domestic events, and China’s passive support currently stabilize the regime. The end of Putin’s leadership, victory in or loss of the war, a nuclear strike by Russia, and the loss of the alliance with China could each trigger change. The escalation of war, full-scale mobilization, amongst other things, could contribute to crumbling the resilience of the Russian political system. Regardless, further Russian aggression and isolation are possible, particularly if political changes in the US and the EU undermine support for Ukraine. This article sums up an expert discussion convened at the Bank of Finland on November 20, 2023.



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