Staunton, September 12 – Many observers believe that “if and when” the Putin regime collapses, power will devolve to the liberal opposition or to the state siloviki, Aleksey Shaburov says; but in fact, it is likely that it will fall to neither but rather to state-organized “bandit” groups like Putin’s pseudo-Cossacks.
The editor of Yekaterinburg’s Politsovet portal says that he has a theory that ‘if and when the current political regime comes crashing down, power from its hands will fall not into those of the liberal intelligentsia but to whose whom it is customary now to call “bandits,” state-armed groups that the state may not fully control (rosbalt.ru/posts/2020/09/11/1863057.html).
Those most obvious of these groups, Shaburov continues, are Putin’s pseudo-Cossacks, who “are situated on the border between two political groups, the official powers that be and ‘bandits.’” If that happens, then they may act even more violently and viciously against minorities they don’t like than they are allowed to at present.
And these pseudo-Cossacks – the Yekaterinburg political analyst is careful to put the word “Cossack” in quotation marks to signal the difference between them and genuine Cossacks – will thus play a role in the transition of power that Russia inevitably will go through in the coming years.
(For a discussion of the difference between the pseudo-Cossacks and the real ones, see this author’s jamestown.org/program/moscow-tightens-control-over-its-cossacks/, jamestown.org/program/putins-pseudo-cossacks-assume-larger-role-but-real-cossacks-refuse-to-go-along/ and windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2020/08/russian-cossacks-gelded-and-not.html.)