Here’s my prediction for what’s going to happen.
One day Putin will croak or disappear or be removed. Some new Putin will be put in place. Russia will announce its dedication to building democracy and will condemn war. The West will remove sanctions and happily move on. Russia will re-militarize, regroup, and start a new war.
Whether in that cycle or the one after, Russia will use nuclear weapons. I’m hoping that by that time there will be Western leadership that won’t be terrified of doing what’s necessary. Which is ensuring that a country called “Russia” no longer exists. Not in any genocidal way, God forbid, but simply in the sense of creating several healthy nations where there’s now one gigantic, diseased failed attempt at a country.
We can avoid all this right now by pressuring our politicians to not remove sanctions no matter how many times the next Putin repeats “democracy, freedom and elections.” Otherwise, there’s absolutely no chance Russia won’t use nuclear weapons in the foreseeable future.
8 thoughts on “My Prediction”
“I’m hoping that by that time there will be Western leadership that won’t be terrified of doing what’s necessary. Which is ensuring that a country called “Russia” no longer exists.”
I don’t see anyway that Russia is going to voluntarily breakup into the multiple separate countries that you desire. The ‘West’ will have to destroy Russia as Germany was in WWI and draw the map for new countries. Then impose leaders for the new counties that the West wants and that you would approve of. I’m afraid that would simply create the same kind of mess that the world got after WWI.
To destroy Russia will probably involve nuclear weapons and end with the countries called Russia and the United States no longer existing.
I don’t think this is true. Why wouldn’t the Buryats or the Kalmyks want to have their own republics? They are dying disproportionately in the war against Ukraine, in a conflict that has absolutely nothing to do with them and that they can’t even comprehend. Siberia has had strong separatist feelings for a very long time. Most regions in Russia detest Moscow and St Petersburg profoundly. They would be happy to shed those supercilious money-grubbing jerks. There is no uniform, monolithic Russia. Diversity – of which Russia has enormous amounts – is not, in fact, a strength. This could be exploited to give all of the subjects of the Russian Federation a chance to live a normal life outside of the Moscow / St Petersburg lunacy.
There is a map of how the war casualties distributed among the subjects of the Russian Federation. The young men who are dying are disproportionately from the regions far away from Moscow / St Petersburg. A gigantic percentage of them are not white. Americans know better than anybody how to use racial resentments. Why not use them for a good purpose?
“I don’t see anyway that Russia is going to voluntarily breakup into the multiple separate countries that you desire”
There’s no strong glue holding the country together.
It’s hyper-centralized so most have little connection to anything like decision making (even at local levels). Hyper-centalization is not a feature of a strong system but of a weak and fragile one.
There’s no national narrative that keeps people together. “We have the richest most corrupt oligarchs with the fanciest super yachts” is actually very poor social glue.
The government has encouraged people to be apathetic about politics (which also means apathetic about the current structure of the country).
Some regions are unhappy with the central government (especially the Far East, which was starting to become a breakaway region back in the 1990s IIRC).
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I’ll add that my fave Russian analyst Kamil Galeev is from Tatarstan which has its own issues with the central government and he thinks rather than a single break up it would be more different chunks gradually tearing themselves away from the center (starting with the Far East).
And note that south Ossetia (fake Russian pseudo-polity carved out of Georgia) has shelved plans for a fake “referendum” to join the Russian Federation.
That is actually huge news and a big propaganda blow to the status quo.
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And yes, exactly Tatarstan. The Tatars are amazing people with their own distinctive culture, cuisine, history. Enormous achievements in arts, literature, scholarship. They are a different racial group from “ethnic Russians.” And they have deep, long-standing racial resentments over the discrimination and contempt heaped on them by “ethnic Russians.” Tatarstan could become really prosperous with some help and some freedom from the Russian overlords.
Off-topic, but I found where just george was getting all those fantasies about Poland occupying Western Ukraine. It’s a line concocted and half-heartedly advanced by Patrushev, Russia’s chief security guy.
I find it puzzling that people who live in the West and have many choices of how to get informed would choose Patrushev as a source of information. I mean, Patrushev. The guy is a total joke. Maybe some old babushkas in some god-forsaken villages still take Patrushev seriously but that’s about it.
“advanced by Patrushev”
It seems to have been around a while. First it was “Poland could get Lwów back!” trying to interest the country in partitioning Ukraine and when no one was biting it became “Poland is occupying!”
The latest Russian troll line is “Enjoy all those refugees! They’re never going back and will wreck your economy!”. Which is pretty lame given that
a) many have already gone back and many more will when the situation stabilizes enough
b) many are already employed or in the process of finding employment (Ukrainians are a known quantity it’s not like Syrians trying to find work in Germany) and
c) nobody is very alarmed at the idea of many of them staying (except for a tiny sliver of the pro-Putin extreme far right).
Not to say there aren’t problems (there always are) but Russian trolls are very unimaginative and project their own neuroses (or what might work elsewhere) and are pretty unsuccessful with Polish audiences (and they give themselves away very quickly…).
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As much as I like the idea of returning Muscovy to its original borders, no one in the West can even conceptualize the existence of independent republics where Russia currently stands, and that’s primarily because it looms so large as mythical adversary in the Cold War.
What’re the literatures of these peoples like?