A quick update on Putin’s ‘January Revolution’

putin

How can we know for sure what he’s thinking?

I don’t have the time to write anything substantive here, nor the inspiration, given that I’ve already penned three articles on this week’s news. For those of you who may be interested, these are:

The hunt is on for Putin’s successor – a hot take in the Spectator’s Coffee House blog in which I observe that he is “in the classic trap of any authoritarian strongman (or, indeed, any mafia don): when your wealth, status and above all security depend on your position, how can you step down or even back?” and thus is looking for a new ‘father of the nation role’ and a suitable successor: “Putin is looking for his own Putin.”

Far from clinging desperately to power, Putin is now looking for a way out – in the Telegraph, this covers similar ground, but in particular is trying to push back against what I felt were sometimes cross “Putin wants to be president for life” takes.

Two cheers, maybe, for Putin’s ‘January Revolution’? – the third and longest instead considers what the intended but also unintended consequences may be, in Raam op Rusland. I suggest that talk of a “constitutional coup” is wide of the mark, and that although “most revolutions are not carried out in the name of the tsar’s security and longevity”, that ‘January Revolution’ label may indeed some day be seen as accurate.

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. pjoyal@nationalstrategies.com

     /  January 18, 2020

    I saw this up close and personal in Tbilisi

    Putin is pulling a page from Saakashvili. When faced with the end of his 2ndterm he changed the constitution. He changed it from a strong presidential system to a parliamentary system. He believed his party would always control the parliament. The PM became the principle power with the new constitution and that had no term limits for PM. The President was still elected with term limits.

    The defeat of his party in the 2012 Parliamentary elections ousted him and his team from power. This could happen because of the massive citizen protest, over government abuse of power. Georgia had a free press and fair elections with significant Western oversight of the process. Russia has neither of these pillars of democracy in play.

    These changes will give him head of state for life if he wants it

    Paul Joyal

    Reply
  2. Edwin Pace

     /  January 20, 2020

    The problem is that Putin will still remain in charge, but in the background. His opinions on matters will be less transparent, but his ability to intervene stays the same.

    This looks like a recipe for stagnation, a la Brezhnev. Few will have the courage to introduce structural changes without his say-so. Yet those few immediately become targets for the corrupt an/or unscrupulous.

    Of course, a new leader will come after Putin’s death or incapacitation. But by then Russia may be faced with the same insurmountable problems that Gorbachev encountered.

    The more Russia changes, the more it remains the same.

    Reply

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