What Can Go Wrong and Why
Having started, in essence, a revolutionary restructuring of Russia in the course of an attempt to re-create Ukraine and the new world order, Putin has set extremely tough survival conditions for society, changing many of the habitual lifestyles of Russians. About 70 percent of his supporters will calmly react to some deterioration in the standard and quality of life. 30 percent of the population with higher incomes will feel the rigid logic of the “new normal.” I will not guess in detail what, where, and how will happen or go wrong. That’s not the point. And the fact is that there are no known cases in history when the core of a conservative revolution would consist of people around seventy years old.
I do not doubt in the least the energy of this group of colleagues and comrades in their desire to go through with the difficult path of revolution until victory. I still have a suspicion that they started their revolution later than the time frame in which such things are usually done. Revolution, like war, is a matter of the young, whatever one may say… If there are losses in the core, many things will begin to change, there are many scenarios depending on the people who assume their place.
The conflict in Ukraine will last four to five years. We need to prepare for this. There are no grounds for peace yet. There will be no street protests on socio-economic grounds in Russia. Neither in the fall, nor next summer. Russia exhausted the power of speeches from below in the twentieth century, having squandered a critical mass of passionate personalities in the fire of class and civil struggle. Alas, changes in Russia will come from above, as always.
Konstantin Remchukov is an authority on Russian politics and the proprietor and editor-in-chief of Nezavisimaya Gazeta. You can follow him at: @KVRemchukov.