How a protracted war can change the system of power in Russia!
Six scenarios for the Putin regime: from the DPRK to complete demolition. How a protracted war can change the system of power in Russia!
Medvedev said that there are only two scenarios for the further development of events: either, they say, Ukraine surrenders right now, or first there is a military coup, and only then it surrenders. There are no other options, he says.
At the end of February, such forecasts did not yet seem fantastic. Now they look exactly like this. Now, in fact, the options for the outcome – and not for the Ukrainian, but for the Russian regime – are as follows:
REVOLUTIONARY BROKEN OF THE REGIME
The confrontation is dragging on, the war is moving into a trench phase, the Russian economy continues to die, and protest moods are growing. As a result, in 2024, thanks to the joint actions of the rebellious electorate and some of the most determined elites, the regime collapses. The new government begins peace talks with Ukraine.
SUCCESS OF THE SUCCESSOR OPTION
The confrontation drags on, the war turns into a trench phase, the protest intensifies, and Putin finally understands that the game is lost. In order not to bring things to a revolution / coup, he nominates a successor, waits for his election and is transplanted into the chair of a senator for life.
The successor concludes a ceasefire agreement and the parties begin peace negotiations. Unlike the first option, in this case the negotiations are much more difficult, since the successor is trying to maintain Putin’s course and is not ready to immediately give up positions.
The confrontation drags on, the war goes into a trench phase, the regime is delegitimized, Putin’s control over the security forces is weakening, and in the end the regime is finally transformed from personalist to collectivist.
In order to secure their new status as co-rulers, the leaders of the power bloc are trying to convince Putin to carry out a reform along the lines of the Chinese model – to unite all parties into one, fix a one-party system and create a Politburo, within which power will have to rotate.
The new Politburo refuses to conclude a peace agreement, the war drags on, becomes completely unpopular, and the mass anti-war movement eventually brings the country to revolution. The regime is even less effective than Putin’s and is rapidly collapsing.
The new government begins peace talks with Ukraine.
DEFEAT OF THE SUCCESSOR OPTION
The Russian army suffers a defeat from the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which provokes an acute internal political crisis in the country. Putin announces his resignation, calls early elections and nominates a successor, but the elites, confused and trying to find themselves in a new situation, are unable to mobilize administrative resources and ensure the desired result.
The successor loses, and one of the rather random people who are on the list of candidates comes to power. Most likely – a representative of the Communist Party. He starts peace negotiations and fixes the defeat.
OPTION “NORTH KOREA”
The Russian army is defeated by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, an internal political crisis begins, but Putin manages to retain power. Protests are suppressed, disloyal elites are repressed.
Putin rules until his death, gradually turning the country into a semblance of North Korea. After his death, a rapid transformation of the regime begins, since the feeling that it is no longer possible to live like this takes possession of literally everyone – both in the Kremlin and in the most remote province.
Putin declares the tasks of the special operation achieved and begins mass repressions – and not so much against the opposition, but against overzealous “patriots” and supporters of the war “to a victorious end.” The latter are accused of “excesses”, “dizzy with success”, as well as inefficiency and corruption. Putin manages to hold on to power, and negotiations with Ukraine drag on for years.
The list of options is not limited to this, in particular, it must be borne in mind that combinations of the six scenarios indicated by the author are possible. “NORTH KOREA“, for example, can happen not only when the Armed Forces of Ukraine win, but also in a situation where there is no decisive defeat of the Russian army at the front, and the war simply drags on and goes into a trench phase. In addition, the author did not take into account the factor of nuclear weapons, which can also greatly change the existing layouts.
The listed six options, however, are enough to understand that Medvedev has once again lied.
As for the terms of the peace treaty, the most likely outcome seems to the author in the spirit of “take the people, leave the lands.” In this case, the parties agree that after a certain period – for example, 5, 10 or 15 years – Russia returns the seized lands to Ukraine. Ukraine agrees to wait so that Russia can organize crossing programs for all supporters of the “Russian world” somewhere in Siberia or the Far East. If we discard emotions, then this option seems to be not devoid of logic: there is no shortage of land in Russia given, it, on the contrary, lacks people.
In the end, I want to mention one more scenario that can be implemented in Russia. If democracy is established in the country after Putin’s departure, it will be able to count on the help of the West, which this time will most likely decide not to stand aside from the problems of forming a new stable liberal system and will assist it so that the failures of the new authorities do not lead to another surge of anti-liberal sentiment and the coming to power of a new Putin.
[Writer Irina Mirochnik is the President at IMMER Group & Doctor of Philosophy in Law(PhD)]
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