Putin’s downfall: The coming crisis of the Russian regime

Our speaker argues that Russia must either reconcile with the West or change leader. How likely can either option suceed? 


Nikolay Petrov, Visiting Fellow, ECFR

Chaired by

Jeremy Shapiro, Research Director, ECFR

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The current trajectory of the Russian regime is unstable and without dramatic change it will crumble within the next year. In Putin’s downfall: The coming crisis of the Russian regime Nikolay Petrov argues that Russia’s political regime is unsustainable and lacks capacity to reform in the face of economic turmoil. Following previous domestic dissent, Vladimir Putin centralised all power in the presidency and weakened Russian political and state institutions in the process. Now, the regime needs to keep delivering military victories or face a loss of support. Petrov asserts that the Russian regime has only two ways out of its coming crisis. It can either reconcile with the West or change leader. Both options come with their own risks. How likely are they to succeed?

Nikolay Petrov is an ECFR Visiting Fellow and author of Putin’s downfall: the coming crisis of the Russian regime. He was previously the chair of the Carnegie Moscow Center’s Society and Regions Programme. In the 1990s he served as chief organiser of the Analysis and Forecast Division in the Supreme Soviet and adviser to the Russian Presidential Administration.

Jeremy Shapiro (@JyShapiro) is Research Director at ECFR. Previously he was a fellow in the Project on International Order and Strategy and the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings, where he edited the Foreign Policy program's blog Order from Chaos. Prior to that, he was a member of the U.S. State Department’s policy planning staff.