Russia Post-Putin

The Ukraine crisis seems to have made the person and personality of the Russian president synonymous with that of his country; their interests and identity have become intertwined. What are the consequences and risks arising from this situation, and what would Russia look like should it no longer be true?

Russia’s adventurism in Ukraine has created the greatest security crisis in Europe in a generation -- but it has also united most of Russia around President Vladimir Putin. The Russian leader has conflated himself with country and crisis. This fusion has boosted his popularity, particularly beyond Moscow and St. Petersburg, and he has used the opportunity to strengthen further the firm hand of his authority.

Such a course holds dangers for Putin, not only from an increasingly beleaguered economy but also the outburst of Russian 'patriotism', which has been buoyed by the Donbas crisis. Such nationalism poses a threat to the president if he fails to control it and the intra-elite factions that are making use of it. A miscalculation on his part could lead to his downfall -- and usher in an even more, for the West, problematic leader.

Putin currently shows no sign of changing course: hawkish policy-makers appear increasingly to be telling him what he wants to hear, thereby further escalating the situation and inadvertently raising the risk of the collapse of the system in which Putin is at the heart.

Join our Client Conference Call on March 26 at 15:00 to explore the outlook for Russia as we address key questions including:

  • Can Putin control Russia’s rising nationalism?
  • What is the landscape within Russia’s ruling elite?
  • Will Russia get more ‘dangerous’ as the economy weakens, and strengthen or weaken Putin’s hold on power?
  • What if Ukraine collapses first?
  • Who could replace Putin?