Espreso. Global
OPINION

When will Russia collapse?

28 May, 2024 Tuesday
15:18

To criticize an idea, make a caricature of it. Then it’s easy to mock

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This is how the idea of the Russian Empire's collapse is often criticized. So, I decided to tackle some typical myths.

No, Russia won’t collapse quickly. The process of weakening the "fasteners" is slow, especially since the main "fastener" is money. Russia can still bypass many sanctions. Even after that, inertia will hold the diverse country together, requiring a trigger like the Prigozhin incident.

No, Russia's collapse won’t happen on its own. It needs systematic efforts from us, primarily at the front. Ukraine should become the center for the struggle of the indigenous enslaved peoples of Russia for freedom and independence, and also a co-author of a new system of collective security in Europe.

No, it’s not just about national republics. Many new states won’t have an ethnic basis but will be founded on strong regionalism, like Ingria or Siberia. Siberia’s colonization model is more like Australia’s than Tatarstan’s. But ethnic republics will serve as models for others.

No, it won’t resemble 1991 much. Different factors will create a different trajectory. Disintegration into 30-40 ill-defined parts isn’t the same as splitting into 15 well-defined parts. There won’t be strong leaders of the process like the RSFSR or Ukrainian SSR then. There will also be elements of 1917.

No, the new national democratic leaders won't be the first presidents. Putin's current regional elites will play a key role in the empire's collapse, similar to the communists in 1991. But national liberation movements are crucial; they provide a vision for the future and will likely secure around 15% in the first free parliamentary elections.

No, not all countries will follow the same path. Trajectories will vary greatly in places like Sakha (Yakutia), the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, and Bashkortostan. In 1991, Estonia, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan each took different routes.

No, not all countries will embrace European values. Sakha and Tyva are closer culturally to Japan and South Korea than to France or Lithuania. But Japan and South Korea are democratic and economically developed.

No, not all countries will become democracies, and certainly not right away. We've been on this journey for over 30 years and still aren't a full-fledged democracy. It also depends on us who will ally with these new states, influencing their trajectory.

So, it's unrealistic to expect a quick, automatic collapse like in 1991 or an easy path to democracy and prosperity. But this doesn’t mean the last world empire will survive the current war. The collapse is inevitable, and its pace and form partly depend on us.

Source

About the author. Valeriy Pekar, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy professor

The editors do not always share the opinions expressed by the blog authors.
 

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