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2018
2024
The Russian State Will Die with Putin
  • Description of the forecast
  • Description of the implementation
Brandon J. Weichert proposes that the Pentagon and America's allies begin planning for the point when Putin is no longer in power. How would Western officials secure potential loose Russian WMD? After Putin, it is unlikely that Moscow will be able to maintain central control over its military.

Vladimir Putin will likely be alive and well in 2024 – and quite possibly ready to stay on for another term as the president of Russia.  Besides, even if Putin did not want to stay, it is unlikely that any potential successor could keep Russia together.  Even today, as Putin increases his grasp on power, the country continues fraying along its periphery.  It is only the silnaya ruka – the iron fist of centralized power – that keeps the vast expanse known as the Russian Federation together.  Increasingly, that centralized power is Vladimir Putin's.

Looking forward, Russia is in a difficult position in terms of presidential successors.  The younger generation of leaders are all Putin lackeys.  Like Medvedev, they are unimaginative, and, aside from holding power in Russia, these folks are unexceptional.  The same was said by many of Vladimir Putin when Boris Yeltsin chose Putin to be his successor.  However, the difference is that Yeltsin was a weak and somewhat benign leader, whereas Putin is an autocrat who jealously guards his power.  Whatever might be said about the system under Yeltsin, it allowed for some leaders to rise.  Putin's autocracy has neutered Russia of any competent leadership for after he leaves office.

The closer we get to 2024, Brandon expects Putin to alter the Russian constitution as he did before the 2012 election, allowing for him to remain in office indefinitely.  Once that occurs, you can start timing how long it will take for Russia to move toward collapse.  After all, whatever comes after Putin will not be a democracy as we understand it (any more than post-Saddam Hussein Iraq became a democracy).  Given the weakness of potential autocratic successors to Putin, Russia will likely break up along its constituent parts.  It will become a chaos state, armed with stores of nuclear – and other – weapons of mass destruction.

Not only are the younger Russian leaders likely incapable of keeping all of Russia's constituent parts together in a post-Putin political system, but the older generation is as well.  They are either too brutal or will simply be too old when Putin leaves office.

Brandon J. Weichert proposes that the Pentagon and America's allies begin planning for the point when Putin is no longer in power.  How would Western officials secure potential loose Russian WMD?  After Putin, it is unlikely that Moscow will be able to maintain central control over its military.

About this event in a different language: русский

 

Source: Thr Weicher Report

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Brandon J. Weichert

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Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staff member who holds a Master of Arts in Statecraft & National Security Affairs from the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C. He is the founder of The Weichert Report: An Online Journal of Geopolitics, and is currently completing a book on national security space policy.